Del Mar CA-(CNC) The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is asking for the public’s help in identifying an individual who may have been exposed to rabies during the Del Mar Mud Run at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Saturday, Oct. 4.
A participant in the event reported that a bat had landed on him during the run. The bat was captured and submitted to the County for rabies testing, and the County Public Health Laboratory confirmed the bat was infected with rabies.
County health officials are concerned that the runner and other people may have directly handled the rabid bat. Anyone who knows the identity of the runner who discovered the bat or anyone who believes they were potentially exposed to the bat are urged to contact the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency as soon as possible at (619) 692-8499.
“The health and safety of this runner, and others who were potentially exposed, is our main concern,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “We want to make absolutely sure that no participants or observers were potentially exposed to this deadly disease.”
Health officials would like to interview anyone who may have come in contact with the bat as soon as possible to determine if they were potentially exposed to rabies. Event participants and observers that had no contact with the bat are not at risk for rabies.
Rabies is a preventable viral disease that is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Although rare, transmission may also occur if the saliva from a rabid animal comes in contact with a person’s eyes, nose, mouth, or open wound. Symptoms of rabies in people can take weeks to months to develop after exposure to a rabid animal has occurred. Once symptoms develop, rabies is almost always fatal. However, prompt post-exposure treatment following exposure to the virus will prevent the disease.
For more information about rabies and bats, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website [Link].