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Rabies from a Hydration Unit?

Can you get rabies or other diseases by using a bite valve that some animal has been nibbling on? Will alcohol sanitizer "sterilize" it?

Question:

Can you get rabies or other diseases by using a bite valve that some animal has been nibbling on? Will alcohol sanitizer “sterilize” it?

Submitted by - Dan, Paradise Valley, AZ

Answer:

So far, no known case of rabies in humans has been proven to come from anything other than a bite or scratch of a rabid animal, or from receiving an organ transplant from another human who had rabies. There are, however, a few cases of rabies in humans where the source of the virus remains unknown.

Rabies outside a host is not a very strong virus. It is killed with a thorough wash with soap and water. Also recommended are antiviral substances such as povidone-iodine and benzalkonium chloride (both easily available over the counter). A 70-percent solution of alcohol has been proven lethal to the virus.

Since we’re talking about possible surface contamination (the bite valve) and not wound contamination, I think (1) the risk is low, and (2) any good washing will eliminate any possible risk. And that goes for other diseases that might be lurking in animal slobber. –BUCK

1 Comment

  1. Jeremy

    The bite valve wouldn’t bother me… you eat things that are a lot worse every day and don’t know it. For instance there is a portion of mouse pieces allowed in your corn meal that is put into most things you eat, and wheat is allowed to have “2 or more rodent pellets, bird droppings, or equivalent quantity of animal filth per 1,000 grams of wheat.” That means you are eating the equivalent of 0.6 rodent pellets per loaf or 6 rat hairs per loaf.
    Since someone will not believe me here are my sources:
    http://www.usda.gov/gipsa/reference-library/handbooks/grain-insp/grbook2/bk2ch13.pdf
    http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~koopman/misc/rathairs.html

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