A rabid bat was found last week in Anaheim, prompting Orange County Health Care Agency officials to warn the public and request that anyone who may have come in contact with it to call the agency.
The creature was found about 7:15 p.m., Tuesday, at South Country Hills Road and South Mohler Drive, according to the agency. Since then it has tested positive for rabies, officials said.
Anyone who touched the bat or saw someone making contact with it was asked to call the agency at (714) 834-8180 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or (714) 834- 7792 after business hours.
Usually the rabies virus is transmitted to people from the bite of an infected animal. Experts say most cases of rabies in humans come from bats, who have tiny teeth, so their bites may go undetected. It's rare for a human to be contaminated through the saliva of a rabid animal through the eyes, mouth or an open wound.
Once an infected person shows signs or symptoms of rabies it is usually fatal. That's why it is imperative, officials say, to get preventive treatment as soon as possible.
To avoid rabies, officials are advising people not to touch wild animals or sleep with open, unscreened windows or doors. Pet food also should not be left outside because it can attract wildlife, and household pets should be vaccinated against rabies.