A bat found in East Bay neighborhood tested positive for rabies

ALAMEDA (KRON) —  A bat that was found on the ground in the 100-300 block of Washington Boulevard in Fremont has tested positive for rabies. The bat was first noticed and picked up by a private citizen at 8:45 am on September 16.

The bat was retrieved by the Alameda County Vector Control Services and was tested for rabies by the Alameda County Public Health Laboratory.

Any person or pet that touched this bat may have been exposed to rabies.

Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus that affects the brain and the nervous system. It can be prevented if the exposed person or animal receives a series of rabies vaccine shots as soon as possible after the exposure.

Anyone who touched or may have been bitten by this bat should call the Alameda County Public Health Department at 510-267-3250, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.; after hours, callers should follow the voicemail prompts to reach the Public Health Duty Officer on-call.

They should also see a health care provider to receive preventive rabies vaccine shots.

Anyone whose pet touched this bat should call Fremont Animal Services at 510-790-6630; or Fremont Police Department at 510-790-6800.

They should also bring their pet to a veterinarian to receive a rabies vaccine booster shot.

Rabies is spread by contact with the saliva or brain tissue of an infected animal, especially through a bite. More than 90% of rabies cases in animals occur in wildlife.

Most cases of rabies in humans in the US are due to contact with bats. Because bats are small and their teeth are tiny, bat bites are almost invisible and may not be noticed.

Humans exposed to rabies who do not get preventive vaccine shots will usually develop symptoms in 1 to 3 months.

Early rabies symptoms include irritability, fever, headache, and severe fatigue. Later symptoms include difficulty walking, speaking, or swallowing and confusion, hallucinations, agitation, or nerve pain. Almost all rabies patients become comatose and die within 1 to 2 weeks of becoming sick.

This is the 12th rabid bat detected in Alameda County in 2015, surpassing the 1999 record of nine rabid bats. Rabid bats have been found this year in Fremont (4), Sunol (3), Pleasanton (2), Livermore (2), and San Leandro (1). In 2014, only two rabid bats were detected, one each from Fremont and Pleasanton.

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