A dead bat found at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park tested positive for rabies, possibly exposing visitors on June 19, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) confirmed Wednesday.
The bat was found at 10:25 p.m. Monday at the Oasis Deli in Nairobi Village at the park, HHSA said.
It was not one of the animals from the park.
At this time, no human contact with the bat has been reported.
But the agency is asking anyone who may have come into direct contact with the bat--such as touching or holding the animal--to call them immediately.
Rabies can be transmitted from a bat bite or if bat saliva comes in contact with cuts, abrasions, or the eyes, nose or mouth.
“Human rabies is usually fatal without prompt post-exposure vaccine and treatment,” said Sayone Thihalolipavan, M.D., M.P.H., County deputy 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.”
This year, 10 rabid bats have been found in San Diego County, one of which was found at the park back in April, the agency said. There was no direct human contact reported with that animal.
“People should always stay away from bats and other wild animals to prevent possible exposure to rabies,” said Thihalolipavan. “If you see a bat, dead or alive, don’t touch it.”
To prevent rabies, make sure your pets are up to date on their rabies vaccines and avoid contact with wild, stray and unknown domestic animals, HHSA said.