San Marcos CA– (CNC) The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency is asking for help in identifying anyone who may have been exposed to a rabid bat found outside a restaurant in San Marcos on Saturday, Oct. 18.
The bat was discovered by five children under a tree in an outdoor courtyard area approximately 15-20 feet from Pizza Nova just after it opened at 11:00 a.m. The restaurant is located at 141 North Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos.
The bat was tested at the County Public Health Laboratory and confirmed yesterday to be infected with rabies.
County health officials are concerned that the children and any other people who were at the location may have directly handled the rabid bat. Anyone who knows the identity of these children, their parents, or others who may have had contact with the bat is urged to contact the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency as soon as possible at (619) 692-8499. If you did not have direct contact with the bat, you are not at risk for rabies.
“The health and safety of these children and the public are our main concern,” said Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., deputy County public health officer. “We want to make absolutely sure that no one was potentially exposed to this deadly disease.”
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 treatment following exposure to the virus will prevent the disease.
People should never handle live or dead bats or any unfamiliar animals. If you were bitten or scratched by an animal that is susceptible to rabies, or have had direct contact with a bat, wash the wound and/or area thoroughly with soap and warm water and consult your health care provider as soon as possible.
The Epidemiology Program is also available for consultation during business hours at (619) 692-8499 and after hours at (858) 565-5255.
For more information about rabies and bats, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.