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East County News Service

October 23, 2015 (San Pasqual)--A bat found at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in San Pasqual on October 9th has tested positive for rabies, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency reports. The bat was found by a visitor near the Mobassa Pavillion and was removed by park security without touching it. 

County health officials want to know  if anyone who was in the park on Oct. 10 directly handled the rabid bat. 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. Rabies is virtually always fatal unless post-exposure vaccines and treatment are promptly administered.

If you or someone in your family or group had contact with the bat, you are urged to contact the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency as soon as possible at (619) 692-8499.

“If you see a bat, dead or alive, don’t touch it,” said Thihalolipavan. “People should avoid direct contact with bats and other wild animals to prevent possible exposure to rabies.”

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 after bites and other significant exposures to potentially rabid animals. Rabies is not uncommon in wild bats in San Diego County.

If direct contact with a bat does occur, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and get medical advice immediately.

For more information about rabies and bats, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.