County officials are now reporting that a third teen may have exposed to rabies when he along with two other boys brought a bat into a pet store Sunday night in Vista.
The teenagers, described as Caucasian and approximately 12 to 13 years of age, brought the bat to a Petco store between 5 and 7 p.m., according to a media release. Initially the county reported that two boys who brought a bat to a North County pet store.
The bat that tested positive for rabies later died and now county officials want to interview the boys to determine if they were exposed.
“The health and safety of the boys is our main concern,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “We want to make absolutely sure these boys have not been exposed to this deadly disease.”
Though the boys did not say they had been bit, though county health officials said the bat's saliva could transfer to their hands and if they touched their eyes or mouth, they could be exposed to the rabies.
If they were infected, a successful treatment is all based in the timing.
"There is a good vaccine for rabies that if given between the time you're exposed and the time you develop symptoms is very effective,” said Eric McDonald, M.D., San Diego County Deputy Public Health Officer.
“But if you start developing the symptoms of rabies by then it is really too late. And there really is no treatment."
This is the fifth bat this year to have tested positive for rabies in the county.