A bat found at the east entrance of a commercial building in Anaheim tested positive for rabies, Orange County health officials reported Wednesday.
The bat was found last Friday around 3:45 p.m. at 1188 N. Euclid St. Anyone who may have had physical contact with the bat or saw someone else having contact with the winged mammal should call the OC Health Care Agency's Communicable Disease Control Division at 714-834-8180 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 714-834-7792 after hours to determine the risk for rabies.
Owners of pets who 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 very rare, contamination of the eyes, mouth or an open wound by the saliva of a rabid animal can also transmit rabies.
Most cases of human rabies in the United States in recent years have resulted from bat strains of rabies. Because bats have very small teeth, their bites may go unnoticed.
Once a person begins showing signs and symptoms of rabies, the disease is always nearly fatal, which is why preventive treatment to stop the rabies virus from causing illness is given to anyone who may have been exposed.
Doctors say medical assistance should be obtained promptly after an exposure so any wound can be cleaned and preventive treatment can be started.
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More information about rabies is available at the Centers for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies.