County Health Officials Notify Residents
The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is reporting that a bat found at a condominium complex in Del Cerro has tested positive for rabies. The sick bat was found on Nov. 23 by a building maintenance worker at the Adobe Falls Condominium Complex located at 5485 Adobe Falls Road in San Diego.
“Human rabies is usually fatal without prompt post-exposure vaccine and treatment,” said Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Public Health Officer. “Although there has been no reported human or animal contact with the bat, it was found in a high traffic area and we want to make sure that no one at the complex had contact with it.”
Rabies transmission can occur from a bat bite or if a bat’s saliva comes in contact with a cut or abrasion, or with mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nose or mouth.
The worker collected the bat without directly touching it and no human or animal contact has been reported. The bat was held by Project Wildlife until it died on Nov. 25.
The bat was delivered to the County on Nov. 27 and testing confirmed the animal to be positive for rabies. In 2011, eleven bats have tested positive for rabies in the county.
“This is a reminder to the public to stay away from bats and other wild animals to prevent possible exposure to rabies,” said McDonald. “If you see a bat, dead or alive, don’t touch it.”
Rabies in humans can be prevented by avoiding contact with wild, stray, and unknown domestic animals, ensuring pets are up-to-date on rabies vaccinations, and receiving prompt medical advice following animal bites and other significant exposures to potentially rabid animals.
If direct contact with a bat does occur, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and get medical advice immediately.
Individuals who think they may have been exposed to the bat are urged to contact County health officials at (619) 692-8499.
For more information about rabies, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/rabies.