LEON WORDEN | SCV NEWS
Though the Santa Clarita Valley population constitutes only three percent of the people in Los Angeles, the area has reported 39 percent of the county’s rabid bats for 2013.
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A total of seven rabid bats have been reported to date, including two found in late July and early August.
The county has seen a total of 18 rabies cases to date.
The sixth rabid bat in Santa Clarita was found on someone’s driveway. Details about the seventh bat are pending.
The Santa Clarita Valley has seen a disproportionately large share of rabies cases the last three years.
Rabies–almost always seen in bats–has been on the rise since 2010, and county health officials don’t know why. In a “normal” year, just eight to 10 rabid bats are identified county-wide. Records have been kept since the 1960s.
Bats are the most common carriers of rabies.
“In our area, we only have seen bat rabies for quite a few years,” said Karen Ehnert, spokeswoman for the county Veterinary Public Health Department. “But, there have been an occasional fox and opossums that have contracted rabies in Southern California.”
Still, fewer than one percent of bats actually carry rabies.
If you see a bat flying during the daytime, attacking the family dog or its food bowl, flopping around on the ground or dead, there’s probably something wrong with it. Do not touch it. Instead, call Animal Control. If you think you’ve been bitten–the bite marks are small and it’s hard to tell–call 911.
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Source: Santa Clarita News