ORANGE (CBSLA) — A bat found in Orange this week has tested positive for rabies, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
The bat had been found along a brick wall in between the 1500 and 1600 block of East Santa Ana Canyon Road on Tuesday at about 4 p.m., authorities said.
Health officials say rabies is spread by the bite of an infected animal, or in rare cases, from a scratch if the animal’s saliva gets into the scratch. Because bats have very small teeth, their bites may go unnoticed, and health officials say most U.S. cases of human rabies – while rare – have come from bat strains of rabies.
Rabies exposure is easily treated with a series of shots of a vaccine to the arm.
To prevent rabies exposure, avoid contact with wild animals, vaccinate all pets against rabies, and do not leave pet food outside or sleep with opened unscreened windows or doors. If bitten, wash the wound immediately with soap and water, then contact your doctor.
Anyone who may have had contact with the bat should call the Orange County Health Care Agency epidemiology program at (714) 834-8180. After hours or on weekends, call (714) 834-7792 and leave a message with a name and call-back number.