News Release
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313 N. Figueroa Street, Room 806  |  Los Angeles, CA 90012  |  (213) 288-8144  |

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For Immediate Release:

September 30, 2019

LA County Public Health seeks anyone who had contact with rabid bat
Bat found at Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) seeks help from the community in locating anyone who may have touched or had contact with a bat found outside on the sidewalk, near the maintenance office of the Santa Fe Dam, located at 15501 E. Arrow Highway, Irwindale, 91706 on Sunday, August 4, 2019. There are reports of two unidentified, unaccompanied boys around the age of 8, who may have been poking at it with a stick. The bat has tested positive for rabies and it is uncertain whether there could have been direct contact with it.

Any contact whatsoever with a rabid bat is a very serious health concern. Rabies is 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. Parents whose children may have been at the Santa Fe Dam during this time are asked to talk with their children to determine if they may have touched the bat. Individuals who touched or may have had contact with this bat should seek medical treatment from their physician immediately.

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 to people or pets to Veterinary Public Health at 213-288-7060.

Forty-one rabid bats have been found in Los Angeles County so far this year. Although the vast majority of bats in nature do not have rabies, on average 35 rabid bats (15-20% of bats tested) are detected in LA County each year. Because rabies is a fatal illness and it is often not possible to visually determine 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. For questions, please contact Veterinary Public Health at 213-288-7060.

For more information on rabies, please visit the Public Health website at:

The Department of Public Health is committed to promoting health equity and ensuring optimal health and well-being for all 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,500 employees and has an annual budget of $1.2 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at,, and