For Immediate Release: July 24, 2020
Contact: HCA Communications
Email: HCAComm@ochca.com

Bat Found in Anaheim Tests Positive for Rabies

(Santa Ana, CA) – A bat found on the entrance of the AT&T store at 131 E. Katella Ave. Suite #20 in the City of Anaheim on Sunday, July 19, 2020 at around 11:15 a.m. has tested positive for rabies.

While human rabies is very rare, each possible exposure should be carefully evaluated. Anyone who may have had contact with the bat is asked to please call the OC Health Care Agency’s (HCA) Epidemiology program right away at (714) 834-8180 for a nurse evaluation of the risk of rabies. After 5 p.m. or over the weekend, community members can call the after-hours number at (714) 834-7792 and leave a message with your name and telephone number, and HCA staff will return your call. 

Rabies is spread by the bite of an infected animal or, rarely, from a scratch if the animal’s saliva gets into the scratch. Bats have very small teeth, and their bites may go unnoticed. Most cases of human rabies in the United States in recent years have resulted from bat strains of rabies.  

If exposure to rabies could have occurred, there is a safe and effective treatment to prevent rabies from developing. Modern treatment for rabies uses a series of shots of a vaccine which is given in the arm just like other vaccines.

To prevent rabies:

  • Avoid all contact with wild animals.
  • Vaccinate all cats and dogs against rabies.
  • Do not sleep with open unscreened windows or doors.
  • If bats are seen inside the house or other structure, close off the area and contact animal control. Once the bat(s) have been removed, close off any areas allowing entrance into the house.
  • Do not leave pet food outside where it will attract wild animals.
  • Immediately wash all animal bites with soap and water, being sure to flush the wound well, then contact your doctor.
  • Report all animal exposures to your Animal Control program.
  • Obey leash laws.
  • Report stray animals to your Animal Control program.

More information about rabies is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/.

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