Contra Costa Public Health and Animal Services are reminding the community not to touch bats after a bat found at a local park tests positive for rabies.
The bat was found on a pathway at The Grove Park, 6100 Main Street in Clayton the morning of Sunday, July 16. The bat was immediately removed from the park and was being rehabilitated but died several days later. Test results came back positive on the afternoon of July 27.
Rabies is spread from animals to humans mainly through bites. People who did not touch the bat that morning are not at risk of developing rabies. The bat was not found in the play structure area and there is no information that the bat was touched by any children.
“Although we think it is highly unlikely anyone was exposed to this bat we feel it’s important to remind the community that it’s never ok to touch bats,” said Paul Leung, Contra Costa Public Health Communicable Disease Programs Chief.
To prevent the spread of rabies, the community should make sure their pets are up to date with their rabies vaccines and avoid handling wildlife.
“Although most bats pose no risk of rabies a bat that behaves unusually, such as lying on the ground or being active during the daytime is concerning and people should not attempt to handle it but instead should contact us right away,” said Cpt. Jane Andreotti of Contra Costa Animal Services.
Anyone who has touched a bat or has been bitten by wildlife should contact their health care provider.
More information about rabies is available at http://cchealth.org/rabies