Most people equate the rabies virus with something you contract after being bitten by an animal, but the truth is that any contact with an infected animal's fluids is risky. Rocker Andrew Elstner, guitarist for the metal band Torche, learned this the hard way after a bat squirted urine in his eye.
"Whether or not you think I'm telling the truth is irrelevant at this point," he shared on his Facebook page
. "What I'm worried about now is rabies. A bat. It pissed into my eye. [God] help me."
Elstner's strange experience began after he found a bat trapped in the room of an old home he owns in the country.
"I switch on the overhead light/ceiling fan combo and what I think at first is a shadow being cast from the spinning fan blades turns out to be a freaking bat," he writes. "It circles the room a few times at light speed, and on one of the turns, dive bombs my head and squirts a little nervous pee into my eye. Holy sh*t. I'm laughing but run to the sink and attempt to flush my eye out. I'm pretty sure I'm fine but ... Not the most common of occurrences."
Bats, along with common forest creatures like raccoons, foxes and skunks, are the most common carriers of the virus. While a bite is the easiest way for transmission to occur, urine or saliva entering the mucus membranes (eyes, ears, nostrils, etc.) is also a potential risk.
Elstner followed the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and got treated as a precaution. If not caught early, rabies is generally a death sentence.
"Such a long dumb story," Elstner concluded over Facebook. "Extremely slim odds that I'm at risk, but,... With rabies, you have a short window to get treated, and beyond that, it is incurable and 100% fatal. Having said all that, I feel like I'm getting treated for a unicorn bite. Bunch of nonsense."
The rocker has since replaced his Facebook profile photo with a mocked up picture of him as Dracula — with a bit of urine in his eye. "What a truly strange, though now harmless, event in my life," he added.