A bat found inside a bike rental shop at Irvine Park in Orange this week has tested positive for rabies, officials said Saturday.
It’s the second bat carrying the deadly disease reported in Orange County within a week.
The O.C. Health Care Agency previously announced the discovery of a rabid bat at a commercial building’s entrance at 1188 N. Euclid St. in Anaheim the afternoon of Sept. 13. (Medical offices affiliated with Kaiser Permanente are listed under that address. )
Five days later, at around 1:30 p.m., another one was found inside the bike rental shop at the Irvine Regional Park on 1 Irvine Park Road in Orange, according to the health care agency.
Authorities have not reported any cases of human infection, but they urged anyone who might have had physical contact with the bats or spotted anyone who has to call the O.C. Health Care Agency at 714-834-8180 or 714-834-7792. They also advised owners of pets who might have come across the mammals to contact their veterinarian.
Rabies contracted by people in the U.S. mostly come from bats, said the O.C. Health Care Agency, noting that bat bites may go unnoticed because of their small teeth.
“Once a person begins showing signs and symptoms of rabies, the disease is nearly always fatal,” O.C. health officials said in a statement. “For that reason, preventive treatment to stop the rabies virus from causing illness is given to anyone who may have been exposed to rabies.”
The agency encouraged locals to take the following precautions:
- 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 bites to OC Animal Care.
- Report stray animals to OC Animal Care.