(Santa Ana, CA) – A bat found along a brick wall in between 1500 and 1600 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road in the City of Orange, on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at around 4 p.m., has tested positive for rabies.
While human rabies is very rare, each possible exposure should be carefully evaluated. Anyone who may have had contact with the bat, please call the Orange County Health Care Agency Epidemiology program right away at (714) 834-8180 for a nurse evaluation of the risk of rabies. After 5 p.m. or over the weekend, you can call the after-hours number at (714) 834-7792 and leave a message with your name and telephone number and we will return your call.
Rabies is spread by the bite of an infected animal or, rarely, from a scratch if the animal’s saliva gets into the scratch. Bats have very small teeth, and their bites may go unnoticed. Most cases of human rabies in the United States in recent years have resulted from bat strains of rabies.
If exposure to rabies could have occurred, there is a safe and effective treatment to prevent rabies from developing. Modern treatment for rabies uses a series of shots of a vaccine, which is given in the arm just like other vaccines.
To prevent rabies:
- Avoid all contact with wild animals.
- Vaccinate all cats and dogs against rabies.
- Do not sleep with open unscreened windows or doors.
- If bats are seen inside the house or other structure, close off the area and contact animal control. Once the bat(s) have been removed, close off any areas allowing entrance into the house.
- Do not leave pet food outside where it will attract wild animals.
- Immediately wash all animal bites with soap and water, being sure to flush the wound well, and then contact your doctor.
- Report all animal exposures to your Animal Control program.
- Obey leash laws.
- Report stray animals to your Animal Control program.
More information about rabies is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/.