A bat that was discovered and picked up by a private citizen in Fremont this past Wednesday has tested positive for rabies.
The bat is reportedly the 12th that has been detected in Alameda County this year alone, surpassing the 1999 record of nine rabid bats, according to San Franciso-based Kron 4 news. It was reportedly retrieved by the Alameda County Vector Control Services and was tested for rabies by the Alameda County Public Health Laboratory.
Rabies is a highly contagious disease that is spread through contact with the saliva or brain tissue of an infected animal, and especially through a bite. Humans exposed to rabies who do not receive preventive vaccine shots will usually develop symptoms in 1 to 3 months, Kron 4 notes.
Symptoms include irritability, fever, headache, and severe fatigue. As the disease develops, immobility, stunted speech and hallucinations are common. Almost all rabies patients reportedly become comatose and die within 1 to 2 weeks of becoming sick.
A rabid bat was also discovered in Plano, Texas this past Wednesday.
Anyone who touched the rabid bat may have been exposed to rabies and is urged to get a preventative vaccine and call the Alameda County Public Health Department at 510-267-3250, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Anyone whose pet touched the rabid bat should call Fremont Animal Services at 510-790-6630, or the Fremont Police Department at 510-790-6800.