The 15th rabid bat from Los Angeles County turned up in late July, in Santa Clarita.
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Roughly half of the county’s rabies cases of 2014 – seven of 15, all in bats – have been reported in the Santa Clarita Valley.
The latest one was found outside of a home in Canyon Country.
County health officials are at a loss to explain the rise in rabies cases over the past four years. Since such statistics were first collected in the early 1960s, eight to 10 cases per year in L.A. County were considered “normal.” Lately it’s been closer to 40.
Fewer than 1 percent of all bats have rabies, but if you see one floundering around on the ground, or bothering the family dog or its food dish, or dead, call Animal Control at 661-257-3191. Don’t touch it.
At least we don’t have West Nile Virus. Yet. It’s coming. Every summer it starts south of us and creeps northward. This week it reached Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, Northridge and North Hills, so it’s almost here.
WNV is borne by mosquitoes. We’d advise you to dump out your standing water, where they breed, but you probably don’t have any water.
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L.A. County’s rabid bats of 2014, in chronological order:
1. Agua Dulce. February. Dead bat found in swimming pool.
2. Los Angeles (West LA). February. Cat found bat in back yard, on ground. Cat placed under quarantine.
3. Santa Clarita (Newhall). April. Bat seen during the day hanging on an outside wall at a residence. It flew away and was later found on the ground.
4. Palmdale. April. Bat found alive at park. Park patron alerted park authorities, who submitted bat for testing.
5. Los Angeles (Koreatown). April. Bat found on an outside stairwell, was lifted by tip of wing and moved to sidewalk by employee.
6. Los Angeles (Century City). April. Bat found flying around in daylight under an awning at a business. Bat fell to ground, was covered with a box, and Animal Control called.
7. Topanga. April. Bat found alive outside a home.
8. Monrovia. May. Bat found alive inside living room of a home. Unknown how long it had been in house. One vaccinated dog and three people in home had potential for unrecognized bite. People referred to medical care for rabies post-exposure treatment, and dog will be quarantined at home and observed for 30 days.
9. Santa Clarita (Newhall). June. Bat found on patio. It was staggering as it walked. Resident covered bat with pool net until animal control arrived, and kept dog away from it.
10. Los Angeles (Mar Vista). June. Dog caught bat while it was flying in a park in daylight. Person bitten while trying to remove bat from dog. Person sought medical care. Dog was up-to-date on rabies vaccine before incident, was re-vaccinated after and quarantined for a month.
11. Santa Clarita (Newhall). June. Bat found inside a garage.
12. Bradbury. July. Live bat found in back yard. Bit person when picked up. A cat then attacked bat and a dog got near it, possibly came in direct contact. Neither pet was up-to-date on it rabies vaccination. Person referred for medical care. Dog and cat referred for veterinary care for rabies vaccination, placed under 6 month quarantines to observe for rabies.
13. Santa Clarita (Canyon Country). July. Bat found alive on ground outside a home.
14. Santa Clarita (Newhall). July. Bat found on ground in front of a garage. Hissed when approached.
15. Santa Clarita (Canyon Country). July. Bat found outside of a home.
Story courtesy of SCV News.
Source: Santa Clarita News