[KHTS] – The ninth rabid bat of the season has been found in Los Angeles County, Public Health officials reported Wednesday.
The bat was found in Newhall, staggering around a residential patio. The resident covered the bat with a pool net and kept the family dog away from it until Animal Control arrived.
No bites or injuries were reported.
It was the first rabid bat reported in June and the third found in the Santa Clarita Valley since the season started in February.
A dead bat was found in an Agua Dulce swimming pool in February and a live bat was found on the ground in Newhall in April.
Rabid bats have also been found in Palmdale, Los Angeles, Topanga and Monrovia this year.
Last year’s rabid bat season started in March and saw nearly half of the county’s identified rabid bats–14 of 33–turning up in the Santa Clarita Valley, even though the SCV has less than three percent of the county’s human population.
Bats are the most common carriers of rabies, but far fewer than one percent of bats actually have rabies.
If a bat is flying during the daytime, showing interest in a pet’s food dish, flopping around on the ground or dead in the water, residents shouldn’t touch it. Instead, they should call Animal Control.
There’s been only one case of a bat biting a human in L.A. County in recent years. It happened two years ago in Acton when a sick bat fell out of a tree and landed on someone’s shoulder.
A bat bite feels like a tiny pin-prick, and often it’s difficult to tell if and when it happens. Anyone who believes they might have been bitten by a bat should seek medical attention right away. Bats that are found indoors near a sleeping person, young child, adult that cannot speak or pet should also be tested for rabies.
Pets’ shots should be kept current. If Animal Control thinks a pet has been bitten they’ll be subject to 30 days’ home quarantine if they’ve had all their shots. Otherwise they’ll be taken to a shelter for six months for observation.