County health officials today urged people to contact them if they had contact with a rabid bat found at the Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area in Irwindale earlier this month.
The bat was discovered on Saturday, June 9, clinging to the side of a rock column inside the snack area near the boat and bicycle rental concession, according to the health department.
A crowd of people, including children, were gathered around the bat for about a half hour before park officials intervened. The bat was captured, and it tested positive for rabies.
"It is very important that any individuals who touched or had contact with this bat contact our department,'' said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county's director of public health. ``We can help determine if you will need toreceive urgent rabies preventive treatment.''
Anyone who may have come in contact with the bat was urged to call the county's Acute Communicable Disease Control office at (213) 240-7941.
Authorities also reminded people to make sure their pets have received rabies vaccinations. Eleven rabid bats have been found in the county so far this year, suggesting that the disease is increasing in the animals, authorities said. On average, about eight to 12 rabid bats are detected each
year in the county.