A bat found inside a bike rental store in Irvine Park in Orange this week has tested positive for rabies, officials said Saturday.
It is the second bat to carry the deadly disease reported in Orange County within a week.
The OC Health Care Agency previously announced the discovery of a rabid bat at the entrance to a commercial building at 1188 N. Euclid St. in Anaheim the afternoon of September 13th. (Medical offices affiliated with Kaiser Permanente are listed under that address.)
Five days later, about 1:30 p.m., another was found inside the bike rental store in Irvine Regional Park at 1 Irvine Park Road in Orange, according to the Health Bureau.
The authorities have not reported any cases of human infection, but they urged anyone who may have had physical contact with the bats or discovered someone who must call the OC Health Care Agency at 714-834-8180 or 714-834-7792. They also advised pet owners who may have encountered mammals to contact their veterinarian.
Rabies procured by humans in the United States mostly come from bats, says O.C. The Health Care Agency, which notes that bats may go unnoticed because of their small teeth.
"When a person begins to show signs and symptoms of rabies, the disease is almost always fatal," O.C. health officials said in a statement. "For that reason, preventative treatment is given to stop the rabies virus from causing disease to anyone who may have been exposed to rabies."
The Agency encouraged locals to take the following precautions:
- Avoid all contact with wildlife.
- Vaccine all cats and dogs against rabies.
- Do not sleep with open unshielded windows or doors.
- If bats are seen in the house or other structure, turn off the area and contact animal control. Once the bats have been removed, turn off all areas that allow entry into the house.
- Do not leave pet food outside where it will attract wildlife.
- Immediately wash all animal pieces with soap and water.
- Report all animal pieces to OC Animal Care.
- Report lost animals to OC Animal Care.