Health officials looking for anyone who touched rabid bat at Safari Park

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SAN DIEGO – County health officials were looking today for anyone who may have come in contact with a bat who tested positive for rabies and was found at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on Friday.
The bat was found alive in the Mombasa Island Pavilion and was collected by a park employee, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.
The bat was not one of the park’s collection animals, the agency said. One other rabid bat has been found in San Diego County so far this year.
“Human rabies is usually fatal without prompt post-exposure vaccine and treatment,” said Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. “There has been no reported human or animal contact with this bat, but it was found in an area where many park visitors pass by, and we want to make sure that no one had contact with it.”
Rabies transmission can occur from a bat bite or if a bat’s saliva comes in contact with a cut or abrasion, or with mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nose or mouth.
“People should always stay away from bats and other wild animals to prevent possible exposure to rabies,” Wooten said. “If you see a bat, dead or live, don’t touch it.”
Anyone who had contact with the bat was urged to contact the county health agency at 619-692-8499.
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