MARTINEZ — A Northern California man has died from rabies believed to be contracted from an encounter with a bat in Contra Costa County.

Health officials announced late Thursday that the 34-year-old man on July 31 died while traveling in Zurich, Switzerland. His name hasn't been released.

The Contra Costa Times ( says an investigation shows the man apparently contracted rabies in the southern part of Contra Costa County in late March after coming into contact with a bat.

Health officials say it's the county's first rabies death in nearly 20 years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says it has identified 59 people who came into contact with the man. Twenty-three of them have been given post-exposure rabies shots.


Information from: Contra Costa Times,