By Collin Breaux

A bat found on the grounds of Mission San Juan Capistrano on Thursday, Oct. 24, around 12:15 p.m. tested positive for rabies, the OC Health Care Agency recently announced.

“Rabid bats are identified routinely each year in Orange County and around the country,” an Oct. 25 press release from the health agency said. “Contact with bats should be avoided and any potential bat bite should be discussed with a medical provider.”

Anyone who had physical contact with the bat or knows someone else who did should call the OC Health Care Agency Communicable Disease Control Division at 714.834.8180 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 714.834.7792 after hours to determine the risk for rabies. Owners of pets who may have had contact with this bat should contact their veterinarian, the release said.

Recommendations to minimize the risk of rabies include avoiding all contact with wild animals, vaccinating all cats and dogs against rabies and not sleeping with open unscreened windows or doors.

“If bats are seen inside the house or other structure, close off the area and contact animal control,” the release said. “Once the bat(s) have been removed, close off any areas allowing entrance into the house.”

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