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The County of San Diego Health and Welfare Agency is searching for anyone who may have come into contact with a live bat that tested positive for rabies and was found June 25 at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

The bat was born on Friday in Mombasa Island Pavilion and was picked up by a trained park employee. No human contact with the bat has been reported to date.

If you or anyone in your family or group has had contact with the bat, you should contact the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Department at 619-692-8499 as soon as possible. If you have not had direct contact with the bat, e.g. B. touching or holding the animal, there is no risk of rabies.

The bat was not one of the park’s collection animals. It was delivered to the county on June 25, and tests confirmed the animal was positive for rabies. Another rabid bat has been found so far this year in San Diego County.

“Human rabies is usually fatal without immediate vaccination and treatment after exposure,” said Wilma Wooten, MD, MPH, district health officer. “No human or animal contact has been reported with this bat, but it was found in an area where many park visitors pass and we want to make sure no one has had contact with it.”

Rabies can be transmitted through a bat bite or when a bat’s saliva comes into contact with a cut or abrasion or with mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose or mouth.

“People should always stay away from bats and other wildlife to prevent possible exposure to rabies,” said Wooten. “If you see a dead or alive bat, don’t touch it.”

Human rabies can be prevented by avoiding contact with wild, stray, and unfamiliar pets, keeping pets up to date with rabies vaccinations, and seeking medical advice immediately after animal bites and other significant exposures to potentially rabid animals. Rabies is not uncommon in wild bats in San Diego County.

In the event of direct contact with a bat, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical advice immediately.

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