Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Two bats with rabies found in Orange County

July 28, 2010 | 12:16 pm

View Larger Map

Orange County health officials are asking anyone who may have come in contact with two bats that tested positive for rabies to be evaluated immediately by medical professionals.

The bats were sighted Monday near the bike trail at University Drive and Jamboree Road in Newport Beach before 6 p.m. and near the Bank of America branch at 2680 N. Tustin Ave. in Orange before 3 p.m. the same day.

Urgency is important because once a person begins showing signs and symptom of rabies, the disease is nearly always fatal, officials said.

The rabies virus is found in animals’ saliva and transmitted to humans through a bite. But bat bites can sometimes go unnoticed because their teeth are very small.

To prevent infection, health officials recommend that people avoid all contact with wild animals, vaccinate cats and dogs against rabies and do not sleep with open, unscreened windows or doors.

If bats are found indoors, officials said, close off the area and contact animal-control officials.

They also suggest not leaving pet food outside the house and immediately washing all animal bites with soap and water, flushing the wounds well before contacting a doctor.

Anyone who might have been exposed to the two bats should call the Orange County Health Care Agency's  epidemiology department at (714) 834-8180.

-- Ching-Ching Ni