Bat bites are being linked to a surge in rabies fatalities among indigenous Peruvians in native Achuar villages near the Morona river basin, according to a Yahoo Noticias report (computer translated).

Brown Bat
Myotis lucifugus, or Little Brown Bat/CDC

Governor of the Loreto region, Fernando Meléndez said at least 12 people in the remote communities in the Peruvian Amazon have died from rabies in recent months and several more remain sick after catching the disease from bats. Three of the 12 dead are children.

Although are rare occurrence in Peru, a similar issue happened in 2011 when at least six children perished to rabies in Amazonas region of Peru after getting bitten by vampire bats and last year when three children died from rabies in Maynas Province, Loreto region after being bit by vampire bats.

Peru’s central government was preparing a state of emergency to free up funds for additional vaccines and fly them into affected communities, which are far from roads, said the deputy health minister, Percy Minaya.