Don't touch bats, dead or alive
Update July 20, 2011: County Health authorities have located the boys and determined that they did not touch the bat. Their family physician will make final determination on whether preventative treatments will be administered.
July 16, 2011 (San Diego) – San Diego Sheriff’s office seeks public help to identify three boys, 12-13 years old, who brought an ill Mexican free-tailed bat to a Petco Store in Vista on July 10. An employee contacted Project Wildlife and later, County Public Health officials tested the bat and found it positive for rabies.
Bats become more active this time of year and County Health officials urge parents in all areas of the County to instruct children never to touch a bat, dead or alive.
Rabies transmission may occur if a bat’s saliva comes in contact with a person’s eyes, nose, mouth or open wound. Rabies can take weeks or months to show up after exposure and can be deadly to humans if left untreated. The first symptoms of rabies may be very similar to those of the flu including fever, headache, and body aches. As the disease progresses, the person may salivate a lot, become afraid of the water and experience hallucinations, insomnia, numbness, and paralysis. Rabies is a fatal disease and there is no cure, however onset can be prevented with a vaccine given promptly.
The boys' families are encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Dept. at (858)505-6657 or County health officials at (619)692-8499 to determine if they were exposed to rabies.