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Health officials warn: Rabid bats

The Fresno County Department of Public Health is warning residents to be aware that local bats have been known to carry rabies. Report the location of dead bats to the Environmental Health Division at 600-3357.

FRESNO - The Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) is reminding county residents to call the department if they interact with a bat.

“These flying mammals have been known to carry rabies in Fresno County. If you observe a dead or injured bat, leave the bat in place. Do not attempt to pick up or touch the bat,” Fresno County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Ken Bird said.

Individuals can report the location of the dead bats to the Environmental Health Division at 600-3357. The EH Division will contact the animal control agency of jurisdiction and request to have them pick up the bats and arrange to have them tested for rabies. 

Health officials routinely test for and find rabid bats, typically during the summer months. FCDPH urges the public to take the follow precautions if a bat – dead or alive – is found: 

•   Avoid contact with bats and other wild animals

•   Do not touch the bat if possible

•   Bites or scratches from bats often go undetected. Direct contact with a bat, dead or alive, should be reported to your health care provider, whether or not an obvious injury is noted.

Individuals awaking in a room with a live or dead bat should also notify their health care provider.  

It is also important to protect your pets by ensuring their rabies vaccinations are current. More detailed precautions and information can be found on the Rabies and Animal Control website at

Rabies remains a concern among wild mammals in Fresno County, most especially among bats and skunks. While any mammal can be infected with the rabies virus, bats are the most common animal in Fresno County that carry rabies. In 2018, twenty-three bats were tested and two of those were found to have the virus.   

For more information about rabies, visit http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/animals/bats.html.

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