8-Year-Old Girl, Younger Brother Die After Being Bitten by Infected Bat in Mexico

An eight-year-old girl who was bitten by a bat died days after her brother, who was also attacked by the nocturnal creature, died of rabies.

The girl's 7-year-old sibling lost his fight for life at the Doctor Aurelio Valdivieso General Hospital in the southern Mexican city of Oaxaca on December 28. Medical tests did not show he had rabies until after his death.

Hospital authorities have now confirmed that the girl also died on Saturday, Jan 7. The siblings came from the remote mountain village of Palo de Lima.

Their two-year-old sister, also said to have been bitten by the same mammal in the back, has already been released after nine days of treatment. The children's grandfather had taken them to hospital following the attack.

Vampire Bat
Vampire Bat (Representational Picture) Wikimedia Commons

Oaxaca's Health Service said in a statement: "The eight-year-old patient from the village of Palo de Lima in the municipality of San Lorenzo Texmelucan, who was receiving medical assistance at Doctor Aurelio Valdivieso Hospital, died on Saturday January 7."

"She was admitted to hospital on December 21, 2022, with health problems after being bitten by a bat and was diagnosed as being in a serious state of health by experts who evaluated her," the statement continued.

"During her stay in the medical centre a group of multidisciplinary specialists were keeping a close eye on her evolution. However she suffered irreparable damage to her heath which resulted in her tragic death."

The three children were bitten in early December. Regional officials have linked their family's failure to seek medical attention earlier to their poverty and ignorance of how to resolve the situation.

The deaths have also led to criticism of the precarious health system operating in some isolated parts of Mexico. Authorities in Oaxaca have travelled to the children's remote indigenous village to vaccinate dogs and cats against rabies. Rabies is a very serious condition that affects your brain and nerves.

It is usually spread to humans via the bite or scratch of an infected animal, most commonly dogs. The condition is found across the world, particularly in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.