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Visitors To San Diego Zoo Safari Park Alerted To Discovery Of Rabid Bat Last Week

ESCONDIDO (CBSLA) — Public health officials are looking for anyone who may have come in contact with a rabid bat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido.

Entertainment Venues Remain Closed In San Diego Due To Restrictive Coronavirus Measures
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 11: General view outside San Diego Zoo Safari Park as entertainment venues remain closed due to coronavirus on April 11, 2020 in Escondido, just north of San Diego, California. The entertainment industry has been hit hard by the restrictions in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. (Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

Health and Human Services officials of San Diego County on Sunday said the bat was found alive Friday at the Mombasa Island Pavilion. It was collected by a trained park employee and determined to not be one of the park's collection animals.

The bat was delivered to the county on June 25 and tested positive for rabies. It's the second rabid bat found in San Diego County so far this year.

"Human rabies is usually fatal without prompt post-exposure vaccine and treatment," Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County's public health officer, said in a statement. "There have 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."

Rabies transmission can occur from a bat bite or if a bat's saliva comes in contact with a wound or mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nose or mouth, according to San Diego County public health officials. Wooten says people should always stay away from bats and other wild animals to prevent possible exposure to rabies.

"If you see a bat, dead or alive, don't touch it," she said.

Anyone who may have had direct contact with the bat, such as touching or holding the animal, should immediately contact the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency at (619) 692-8499.

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