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Rabid bat found in North Bay

A rabid bat has been found in Fairfield, Solano County officials announced Thursday, but as of yet, there's no report of a person infected with rabies.

The Solano County Department of Health and Social Services, Public Health division; the Napa-Solano-Yolo-Marin-Mendocino County Public Health Laboratory and the Solano County Sheriff's Animal Control division confirmed that a bat has tested positive for the rabies virus. The sample was collected on June 2 .

Rabies, officials advised, is a severe viral disease that attacks the central nervous system. It is predominantly seen in raccoons, bats and skunks, as well as in dogs and cats, and it can occasionally affect humans, including after being bitten by an infected animal. Rabies can also be contracted when saliva or spit from a rabid animal gets directly into a person's eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound.

If exposed to rabies, individuals can be treated with post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), a series of shots that can prevent rabies from developing if received before symptoms present.

"Rabies can be fatal and we urge residents to be cautious around wild animals," said Dr. Christine Wu, Deputy Health Officer for Solano County. "Residents should take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of getting an infection by seeking immediate medical attention if bitten by any animal."

Solano County officials urged anyone who encounters a bat to contact the Sheriff's Animal Control division at 784-4733 to help trap the bat for testing. Testing a bat to determine if it is rabid can help to determine whether you need PEP. You can also contact your doctor to assess whether PEP is needed.

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