A bat found outside a commercial building in Anaheim tested positive for rabies, prompting the Orange County Health Care Agency Wednesday to ask anyone who made contact with the winged mammal to contact its epidemiology team to determine their risk for the virus.
The bat was found outside the north entrance of the building at 1021 N. Tustin Ave. about 5:30 p.m. Friday, according to the HCA.
Anyone who may have touched the bat or saw someone who made contact with the bat was asked to call the agency at (714) 834-8180 during business hours or (714) 834-7792 after hours to determine the risk for rabies. Owners of pets that may have had contact with the bat should contact their veterinarian, according to the HCA.
The rabies virus is found in an animal's saliva and is transmitted to people by a bite from a rabid animal. Although extremely rare, contamination of the eyes, mouth or an open wound by the saliva of a rabid animal can also transmit the virus.
Bats are the most common cause of transmitting rabies to humans because the bites can go unnoticed due to the small size of a bat's teeth. Once a person begins showing symptoms, the disease is nearly always fatal. For that reason, preventive treatment to stop the virus from causing illness is given to anyone who may have been exposed to rabies.