A rabid bat was found near the Fulton Mall in Downtown Fresno. According to a statement, a health official found the dead bat at the corner of Van Ness and Merced last Tuesday.
Now health officials are warning people in the area about the dangers of coming into contact with an animal infected with rabies.
Fresno County health officials say they find and test bats for rabies four to 5 times a year but it’s uncommon to get a positive result. Last week’s positive result is not only concerning for them but also for people who frequently walk in that area.
Robert Sepuledeta said “I was kinda surprised I didn’t even know that we had bats in this area.”
Other people walking in the area couldn’t believe a rabid bat was found nearby
“Our biggest fear, you got mosquitoes that carry virus, you got a lot of different things. Now a bat?”Gary Mancillas said.
The rabid bat was found on Tuesday and was delivered to the lab to be tested for rabies. On Thursday the results were positive.
Fresno County Health Officer Ken Bird said “Remind the public that bats can carry rabies across our country and in our county so to be very careful when they see a live or dead bat, not to make contact with that bat.”
Health officials say that if a rabid animal has rabies and comes in contact with a human or a pet, it can be deadly.
“If your animal itself has not been vaccinated it could become rabid itself, it could pass that on to you as a pet owner or other pets that you have,” Director of Environmental Health Wayne Fox said.
And if you believe your pet may have come in contact with a rabid animal, health officials recommend taking them to the vet and being on the lookout for the following symptoms.
“You start looking for things like foaming at the mouth, it’s a disease that affects how they move, they start dragging their feet and limbs so they’re not walking well. They don’t seem coordinated, it affects your central nervous system and the animal appears agitated,’ Fox said.
Health officials advise people to make sure their cats and dogs are up to date with the vaccination against rabies.