[KHTS] – The total number of rabid bats reported in the Santa Clarita Valley this year has risen to 18 after three more cases were discovered during the month of September, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Department of Health.
The latest statistics show that more than half of the reported cases in Los Angeles County– which is currently at 32 –have been in the Santa Clarita Valley.
The most recent case was reported in Saugus after a resident discovered the bat in their garage, according to the report.
The other two September cases involved a rabid bat that was discovered clinging to an outside wall on the second story of a business in Canyon Country and a rabid bat found in a backyard in Newhall.
The Newhall bat was reportedly alive and flew toward the resident who discovered it.
Two dogs and one cat that had spent time in the yard the day of the report were quarantined as a result.
County health officials don’t have an explanation for the rise in rabies, which has jumped to about 40 cases per year — approximately four times the number of reported cases compared to early statistics from the 1960s.
Fewer than one percent of bats have rabies, but health officials warn residents not to touch any bats seen alive or dead on the ground and to immediately call Animal Control at 661-257-3191.