Warning Issued for Rabid Bats in San Bernardino County

By on August 3, 2020

Late last week, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health issued a warning to residents that bats have been confirmed to have rabies.

A total of nine bats have been found to be rabid; four of which were found in the past two weeks. Officials are asking the public to protect themselves and their pets from interactions with unfamiliar, stray or wild animals.

“Rabies is almost always fatal in humans once symptoms begin,” stated Dr. Erin Gustafson, County Interim Health Officer. “It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible for any animal bite or possible rabies exposure.”

The county issued the following tips to prevent exposure to rabies:

  • Do not touch, feed, harass or provide shelter for any unfamiliar pets, wild or stray animals.
  • Vaccinate pets against rabies. Dogs are required to be vaccinated for rabies at four months of age. Cats can be vaccinated as early as twelve to sixteen weeks old. The first rabies vaccine is effective for one year. After that initial shot, pets should be re-vaccinated every three years.
  • Get pets spayed or neutered.
  • Do not let pets roam free.
  • Keep trash cans tightly covered and avoid storing any food outside.
  • Bat-proof the home by sealing small openings and keeping unscreened doors and windows closed.
  • Teach children never to approach any unfamiliar animals and to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten or scratched by any animal.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you are exposed to or bitten by an animal.
  • Report any bite or scratch from a domestic or wild animal to the animal control agency for the area where the bite/scratch occurred.
  • Report dead bats immediately to the animal control agency where the animal is located in.
  • Do NOT attempt to touch or confine stray or wild animals.

For more information, contact San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control Services at 1-800-472-5609.