More than half of reported cases of rabid bats in Los Angeles County have been discovered in the Santa Clarita Valley, officials said Friday.
Four more rabid bats were found in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past several months, bringing the total to 11 out of 21 reported cases in the county, according to a report issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Thursday.
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The most recently listed case was discovered alive outside a home in Saugus, but the month of the discovery is not named in the report.
Two of the new cases were discovered in Newhall in the months of July and August, and one was discovered alive outside a home in Stevenson Ranch in July.
The bat found in Newhall in July was alive and hanging on the side of a house during the day, and the August Newhall bat was discovered dead while two dogs played with it, according to the report.
Neither dog was up-to-date on their rabies vaccines, so both were placed under a six-month home quarantine.
County health officials don’t have an explanation for the rise in rabies, which has jumped to about 40 cases per year — approximately four times the number of reported cases compared to early statistics from the 1960s.
Fewer than one percent of bats have rabies, but health officials warn residents not to touch any bats seen alive or dead on the ground and to immediately call Animal Control at 661-257-3191.
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