Two bats have tested positive for rabies in Tulare County, the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency said Tuesday.
The agency warns the community to be very cautious around bats and to never touch them with bare hands.
The rabid bats were found in Tulare and south Visalia.
In a release, Tulare County Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Haught said, “Bats exhibiting abnormal behavior, such as being active during the day, sitting on the ground, or not being able to fly or evade contact are more likely to have rabies. Do not attempt to handle bats, whether they are found in your home, on your property, or in a public place; call your local animal control instead.”
Last year, 13 percent of bats tested by the Tulare County Public Health Lab had rabies.
Rabies is a serious and fatal illness, the agency said. If there is exposure, the disease can be prevented with a safe vaccine and immune globulin.
If a bat is found, the agency recommends wearing heavy gloves to cover it with a can or box and request assistance from animal control.
If a person comes in contact with a bat, the department recommends individuals contact the Tulare County Communicable Disease office at (559) 685-5720.