Public Health Department Seeks Individual Exposed to Rabid Bat

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Public Health Department Seeks Individual Exposed to Rabid Bat
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Source: Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is seeking the public’s help in locating a person believed to be exposed to a rabid bat earlier this week in Santa Barbara. The person is described as a tall, slender, Caucasian female between the ages of 45 and 70 years old with short gray hair.

At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 two male individuals were approached by the woman at the corner of Sola Street and Anacapa Street in Santa Barbara near Alameda Park. She handed them a box containing a bat that had been captured and asked them to take the bat to Animal Services, which the two men did. The bat was sent for testing by County Animal Services and tested positive for the rabies virus.

If you are the person who captured the bat or have information regarding this incident, you are urged to call the Public Health Department at 805-681-5280 during or after business hours.
There is no threat to the public as this is an isolated incident. The Public Health Department advises the public to be aware of wild animals. Do not approach, handle, or feed wild and
unfamiliar animals, even if they appear tame. Any bite from a wild or unknown animal should be considered as a possible source of rabies. Rabies is a very serious disease and is almost always fatal in humans if not treated before symptoms appear.

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a-1558328331 Apr 27, 2019 09:16 AM
Public Health Department Seeks Individual Exposed to Rabid Bat

This is such a strange story. While I'm concerned about the welfare of the woman, I can't help wondering why she didn't take the bat to Animal Services herself, rather than give the box to 2 strangers. She could also have called Animal Services to pick it up. Incidentally, the rabies shots are not likes they were years ago, when they had to be given in the stomach. I was bitten by a feral cat about 15 years ago, and remember getting 4 or 5 once-a-week shots in my arm. It wasn't as bad as I had been expecting.

Lucky 777 Apr 27, 2019 12:01 AM
Public Health Department Seeks Individual Exposed to Rabid Bat

I was in a campground once where someone tried to chase a bat out of a tent and got scratched... since they coudn't tell if it was a claw or a tooth that scratched them it was off to the ER for the series of rabies shots.

Factotum Apr 26, 2019 11:11 PM
Public Health Department Seeks Individual Exposed to Rabid Bat

Looks like someone who loves drumming up junk science hsyteria, just lost their "settled science" credentials and also exposed their very poor research skills. Thanks for the CDC link - that is settled science enough for me.

a-1558328331 Apr 26, 2019 11:11 PM
Public Health Department Seeks Individual Exposed to Rabid Bat

Here's some perspective regarding rabies and humans affected: =========Population of California in 2018: 39.56 million people. Population of USA in Jan. 2019: 328,285,992================Four cases of rabies were diagnosed in California residents in the previous ten years (2005- 2014), the most recent in a Contra Costa County resident in 2012. A total of 5,508 cases of animal rabies and three cases of human rabies were reported in the U.S. in 2015 [Birhane et al 2017].

a-1558328331 Apr 26, 2019 11:06 PM
Public Health Department Seeks Individual Exposed to Rabid Bat

If the woman had been bit, then there is cause for worry. And one would think the woman would have told the two men if the bat had bit her. People always like to think the worst in such cases. My money's on the woman being hale and hearty. And I thank her for caring and having compassion for animals.

a-1558328331 Apr 26, 2019 11:03 PM
Public Health Department Seeks Individual Exposed to Rabid Bat

This is what the CDC has to say on the subject of "getting rabies from handling a bat:" ----------------You can not catch rabies just by being near a bat. Rabies is nearly always transmitted through a bite. ... In addition, people cannot get rabies from having contact with bat guano (feces), blood, or urine, or from touching a bat on its fur (even though bats should never be handled!).

a-1558328331 Apr 27, 2019 10:53 AM
Public Health Department Seeks Individual Exposed to Rabid Bat

Better safe than sorry. By the time rabies shows symptoms, you're done for. Only about 5 people have EVER survived rabies, after prolonged medical intervention resulting in significant brain damage. I wouldn't take any chances.

snaps Apr 26, 2019 04:46 PM
Public Health Department Seeks Individual Exposed to Rabid Bat

I had to be vaccinated once. I was attacked by a donkey in India and flew home and got the vaccine at Cottage. They gave me the vaccine in India but they literally handed me the needles for.me to inject myself and we had no refrigeration.

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