A bat found inside the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has tested positive for rabies, San Diego County officials announced Tuesday.
The bat was found alive on Sunday, July 10 at approximately 2:15 p.m. near the Oasis Deli in Nairobi Village, County health officials said. The bat was not one of the park's collection animals.
Another rabid bat was also found at the same location on June 11.
Trained park staff collected the bat without touching it and brought it to County offices on Monday. Officials do not believe the animals came into contact with any humans or animals.
Anyone who did not come into direct contact with the bat is not at risk for rabies. Rabies can be transmitted if a bat bites you or if its saliva comes in contact with a cut, abrasion or mucous membrane like your eyes, nose or mouth.
“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 be sure that no one had contact with it,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer, in a statement. “Human rabies is usually fatal without prompt post-exposure vaccine and treatment.”
County officials are now searching for anyone who may have directly handled the bat or come into contact with it. If you believe you came into contact with the bat, call the County as soon as possible at (619) 692-8499.
Rabies can be transmitted if a bat bites you or if its saliva comes in contact with a cut, abrasion or mucous membrane like your eyes, nose or mouth.
Anytime you find a bat –dead or alive – you should not touch it, health officials say. If you do come in contact with one, wash the affected area with soap and water and seek medical advice.