A live bat found near the entrance of Kohl’s department store in Seal Beach is the third in the past month in Orange County to test positive for rabies, officials said Thursday.
The discovery was made at the Kohl’s located at 12345 Seal Beach Blvd. about 8 p.m. Sunday, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
It’s at least the third bat in the county to test positive for rabies in less than a month.
The first rabid bat was found in Anaheim on Sept. 13, while another was found on Sept. 18 inside the bike rental shop at the Irvine Regional Park.
Rabies is almost always lethal once symptoms show up, which is usually around three to eight weeks, health officials said. But preventative treatment can stop the virus from causing illness if treated in time.
The most common method of transmission from animal to human is through a bite. Since bats have tiny teeth, their bites can sometimes be difficult to detect.
In very rare instances, people can also contract the virus if their eyes, mouth or an open wound comes into contact with a rabid animal.
Bats are responsible for most human cases of rabies, including 70% of deaths from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While Orange County officials haven’t reported any human infections recently, officials are urging anyone who may have come into contact with a rabid bat to call the OC Health Care Agency’s Communicable Disease Control Division at 714-834-8180 or 714-834-7792.
More information about rabies, including symptoms of the virus, can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/rabies.