Health Concern as Rabid Bat Found Dying on Pasadena Sidewalk

Published : Thursday, October 17, 2019 | 8:25 PM

The Pasadena Public Health Department announced Thursday night it is asking for help from the community in locating anyone who may have touched or had contact with a bat found outdoors on the ground near State Street and South Fair Oaks Avenue on Tuesday, October 15 at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The bat has tested positive for rabies and it is uncertain whether there could have been individuals in direct contact with it.

“The bat was found alive on the sidewalk,” said City spokesperson Lisa Derderian, “and reported quickly but we want to make sure no one else made contact with it prior to it being reported/collected.”

Any contact whatsoever with a rabid bat is a “very serious health concern,” officials said.

Rabies is often a fatal disease and requires timely preventive medical treatment. While the length of time between exposure to rabies and onset of rabies illness is usually three to eight weeks, in some persons it can be considerably longer. Individuals who touched or may have had contact with this bat should seek medical treatment from their physician immediately.

“Although there has been only one bat that tested positive for rabies so far this year in Pasadena, there is the potential for additional rabid bats in the area. In LA County, the only animals known to routinely carry rabies are bats, and on average, 35 rabid bats (15-20% of bats tested) are detected in LA County each year. Because rabies is often a fatal illness and it is often not possible to determine visually if an animal has rabies, any contact with bats and other wild animals should be avoided. A scratch from a tooth or bite from a rabid animal could cause rabies infection in people or other animals. Wash the wound area immediately with soap and water and seek medical care,” states Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, Pasadena Public Health Director.

If you see a dead or dying bat on the ground, do not handle it. Please contact your local animal control agency to collect the bat for rabies testing.

Report any potential bat bites involving people to the Pasadena Public Health Department at (626) 744-6089 or if pets are affected, contact an emergency veterinarian.

For more information on rabies, please visit www.CDC.gov.