San Diego-Health officials are looking for anyone who may have been exposed to rabies bats at the San Diego Zoo recently.
The San Diego County Department of Health and Human Services stated that the live bat was found at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on June 25 and tested positive for rabies.
The department said in a statement: “Anyone who has direct contact with bats-such as touching or holding animals-should contact the San Diego County Department of Health and Human Services (619) 692-8499 as soon as possible.” Press release.
“If you have not been in direct contact with bats, you are not at risk of getting rabies.”
The county says the animal is wild-not part of the park’s collection. According to officials, it was found in the Mombasa Pavilion area of ??the park and “collected by a trained park employee” before being sent to the county.
“Without timely post-exposure vaccines and treatment, human rabies is usually fatal,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s top public health official, said in a written statement.
“There have been no reports of human or animal contact with this bat, but it was found in places where many park visitors passed by, and we want to make sure that no one has ever come into contact with it.”
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The county said that another rabies bat was found in the area this year.
Health officials explained that the spread of rabies may come from a bat bite, or if the animal’s saliva touches a wound or abrasion, or if it touches a person’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
“If direct contact with bats does occur, please wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately,” the county said.