Orange County health officials on Wednesday are alerting the community after a rabid bat was found at a commercial building in Anaheim late last week.
The mammal was discovered about 3:45 p.m. Friday in the east entrance of a building at 1188 N. Euclid St., according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. It later tested positive for rabies.
Health officials warned the virus is nearly always lethal once someone begins showing symptoms, but that preventative treatment is available to stop rabies from causing illness.
Because of that, they’re urging anyone who may have come into physical contact with the bat, or witnessed someone else who did, to call the agency’s Communicable Disease Control Division to determine their risk.
Calls can be directed to 714-834-8180 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or 714-834-7792 after hours.
Those who believe their pet may have had physical contact with the bat should call their veterinarian immediately.
Rabies is found in saliva, and can be transmitted from animals to humans through a bite; in very rare instances, it can also be contracted through the eyes, mouth or an open wound by an animal’s infected saliva, the agency stated in a news release.
In recent years, most human rabies cases in the U.S. have resulted from bat strains, according to the release. Bat bites can go unnoticed because they have tiny teeth.
The agency recommends a number of steps to curb the spread of rabies. Those measures include: avoiding all contact with wild animals; vaccinating cats and dogs against the virus; keeping unscreened windows and doors closed at night; and reporting all animal bites and stray animals to O.C. Animal Care.
More information about rabies can be found on the CDC’s website.