A bat left on a napkin on the doorstep of All Creatures Veterinary Center in Newhall on Tuesday has tested positive for rabies, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported Friday afternoon.
Public Health officials seek help from the community in locating anyone who may have touched or had contact with the bat, found in front of the veterinary center on Lyons Avenue.
Any contact whatsoever with a rabid bat is a very serious health concern. Rabies is a fatal disease and requires timely preventive medical treatment. Individuals who touched or may have had contact with this bat should seek medical treatment from their physician immediately.
If you see a dead or dying bat on the ground, do not handle it. Please contact your local animal control agency to collect the bat for rabies testing.
Report any potential bat bites to people or pets to Veterinary Public Health at 213-288-7060.
Thirty-four rabid bats have been found in LA County so far this year. Although the vast majority of bats in nature do not have rabies, on average 35 rabid bats (15-20% of bats tested) are detected in LA County each year.
Because rabies is a fatal illness and it is often not possible to visually determine if an animal has rabies, any contact with bats and other wild animals should be avoided. A scratch from a tooth or bite from a rabid animal could cause rabies infection in people or other animals.
For questions, call Veterinary Public Health at 213-288-7060.
For more information on rabies, visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is committed to promoting health equity and ensuring optimal health and well-being for all 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,500 employees and has an annual budget of $1.2 billion.
To learn more, visit PublicHealth.LACounty.gov, and follow Public Health on social media at twitter.com/LAPublicHealth, facebook.com/LAPublicHealth, and youtube.com/LAPublicHealth.