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Bat tests positive for rabies; Santa Barbara Co. health officials seek woman who found it

Posted at 3:57 PM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-26 18:57:49-04

Health officials are looking for a woman who found a bat in Santa Barbara last week that has since tested positive for rabies and their asking for the public’s help in finding her.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department says the woman approached two men around 10 a.m. Tuesday at the corner of Sola Street and Anacapa Street near Alameda Park and asked them to take the box containing the bat to animal services.

County Animal Services then tested the bat for the rabies virus and say the results came back positive.

Health officials say this is an isolated incident and there is no threat to the public but they are asking the woman who found the bat or anyone else with information to contact the Public Health Department at (805) 681-5280.

The Public Health Department reminds people to leave wild animals alone even if they appear tame. “Any bite from a wild or unknown animal should be considered as a possible source of rabies. Rabies is a very serious disease and is almost always fatal in humans if not treated before symptoms appear,” officials said in a press release.