Orange County health officials warned residents Friday about a rabid bat that was recently discovered outside a business in Anaheim.
The bat was found at the entrance of the AT&T store in the 130 block of Katella Avenue around 11:15 a.m. this past Sunday, according to an Orange County Health Care Agency news release.
It tested positive for rabies, the potentially lethal disease that can be spread by being bitten or, in rare instances, scratched by an infected animal, the agency said. As bats have tiny teeth, it can sometimes be difficult to detect their bites.
The majority of recent rabies cases in humans have been spread by bats. And while such cases are rare, any possible exposure to the virus should be evaluated, according to health officials.
Anyone who thinks they have had contact with the rabid bat is urged to call the Health Care Agency’s Epidemiology program immediately at 714-834-8180.
After 5 p.m. or on weekends, people are asked to dial 714-834-7792 and leave a message, along with their name and telephone number, and someone from the agency will return the call.
Since rabies is almost always deadly once symptoms show up — usually around three to eight weeks — it’s imperative to seek preventative treatment right away. That typically involves a series of shots of the vaccine, health officials said.
More information about rabies can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.