SANTA ANA ( — Orange County health officials issued a public warning Wednesday about rabies after a live, rabid bat was found on the campus of Fullerton College last week.

The infected bat was found on the east side of the College’s 1100 Building on Jan. 29, according to Orange County Health Care Agency spokeswoman Tricia Landquist.

Rabies is typically transmitted by the saliva from a bat or other infected animals, but in some rare cases, the virus can be transmitted through the bat’s saliva into a person’s eyes, mouth, or an open wound.

Most cases of human rabies in the U.S. in recent years have resulted from bat strains of rabies. A bite may often go unnoticed due to bats’ small teeth, Landquist said.

Once someone infected with rabies shows symptoms, it is nearly always deadly, which makes preventive care more urgent, said Landquist.

Anyone who might have touched the bat or saw someone else come in contact with the animal is asked to call the Orange County Health Care Agency’s epidemiology department at (714) 834-8180 during business hours, or (714) 834-7792 after hours.

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