County Department Of Public Health Confirms Rabid Bat Found In Redlands

A rabid bat was found at Redlands East Valley High School on May 10, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health has confirmed.
Rabies, also called hydrophobia, is a viral disease which, when untreated, causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals.
Rabies is caused by lyssaviruses, including rabies virus and Australian bat lyssavirus. Rabies is spread when an infected animal scratches or bites another animal or human. Saliva from an infected animal can also transmit rabies if the saliva comes into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose.
Worldwide, dogs are the most common animal involved with rabies in terms of infection and spreading the disease. Well over 90 percent of rabies cases in countries where dogs commonly have the disease are caused by dog bites. In North America, however, bat bites are the most common source of rabies infections in humans, with fewer than five percent of cases coming from dogs.
In addition to the bat found in Redlands in San Bernardino County, two bats confirmed to be infected with rabies were discovered earlier this year in Riverside County, in Menifee and La Quinta.
Bats, which are mammals, roost in caves, in tree hollows and occasionally underground, as well as in abandoned buildings.
Not all bats are rabid. Nevertheless, they represent a real danger. They are most active at night and in the dark humans may not know they are there.
Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of exposure These symptoms are followed by one or more of the following symptoms: violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear, the result is nearly always death. The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months; however, this time period can vary from less than one week to more than one year. The time is dependent on the distance the virus must travel to reach the central nervous system.
Treatment after exposure can prevent the disease if administered promptly, generally within 10 days of infection.
A Riverside County woman who was bitten by a rabid bat last year was successfully treated.
In the United States, the standard treatment protocol is to inject a single dose of human rabies immunoglobulin proximate to the bite, followed by four separate deep intramuscular injections of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period. The previous practice of subjecting those infected with rabies with multiple painful nerve-tissue-based vaccinations into the abdomen with a large needle is no longer standard in the United States.
Awakening to find a bat in the room, or finding a bat in the room of a previously unattended child or mentally disabled or intoxicated person, is regarded as an indication for post-exposure treatment.

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