SANTA ANA, Calif. — A bat found inside a bike rental shop in Orange last week tested positive for rabies, officials said Saturday.
It was the second such finding in the last two weeks.
The latest discovery was made at the shop, at Irvine Regional Park at 1 Irvine Park Rd., on Wednesday, at around 1:30 p.m., according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
Anyone who may have had physical contact with this bat or saw someone else having contact with the bat was asked to call the agency’s Communicable Disease Control Division at 714-834-8180, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or 714-834- 7792 after hours to determine the risk for rabies.
Owners of pets who may have had contact with this bat should contact their veterinarian.
A bat found at the east entrance of a commercial building in Anaheim on Sept. 13 also tested positive for rabies. That bat was found around 3:45 p.m. at 1188 N. Euclid St.
The rabies virus is found in an animal’s saliva and is transmitted to people by a bite from a rabid animal. Although very rare, contamination of the eyes, mouth or an open wound by the saliva of a rabid animal can also transmit rabies. Most cases of human rabies in the United States in recent years have resulted from bat strains of rabies. Because bats have very small teeth, their bites may go unnoticed.
Once a person begins showing signs and symptoms of rabies, the disease is always nearly fatal, which is why preventive treatment to stop the rabies virus from causing illness is given to anyone who may have been exposed. Doctors say medical assistance should be obtained promptly after an exposure so any wound can be cleaned and preventive treatment can be started.
More information about rabies is available at the Centers for Disease Control website.