(November 22, 2004) -- A rabid bat has been found in ELB's Heartwell Park.
LB's Dept. of Health and Human Services says the bat was found in the area of Clark Ave. and Carson St. on November 14 and has tested positive for rabies.
Rabies is a potentially fatal, infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals...and humans can get rabies from the bites of animals infected with the rabies virus (rabid animals).
"Any wild mammal such as a raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, or bat can have rabies and transmit it to humans," LB's Health Dept. says. LB hasn't seen any human or domestic animal (dog or cats) rabies cases for over fifty years...and LB's Health Dept. wants to keep it that way. The agency offers the following recommendations to prevent risk of exposure to rabies:
1. Children and adults should not handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they seem friendly.
2. Wash any wound from an animal bite thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.
3. If you or your pets come in contact with a bat, request that it be tested for rabies.
4. Prevent bats from entering homes, schools, churches and other similar areas where they might contact people and pets.
5. If you find a sick bat, which may be on the ground or in a building, do not handle or try to capture it, but call Animal Control at (562) 570-7387.
6. Be a responsible pet owner by keeping vaccinations current for all pets, keeping cats inside and your dogs under direct supervision. If you have problems with stray animals in your neighborhood, call Animal Control at (562) 570-7387.
In situations in which a bat is physically present and you cannot reasonably rule out having been bitten, call Animal Control at (562) 570-7387 to remove it from your area and test it for rabies, or, if necessary, safely capture the bat and call Animal Control and seek medical attention immediately.
LB's Health Dept. handles rabies control as one of its most important functions. For more information on bats and rabies, the agency suggests visiting the CDC web site on the issue: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/cvrd/rabies.