Health officials want to hear from anyone who had contact with a rabid bat found at Southland Mall earlier this month. (Courtesy photo)

Rabid bat found at Southland Mall in Hayward

A rabid bat was found at the Southland Mall in Hayward in early February and county officials are urging any victims to call the health
department and a personal healthcare provider to get a vaccine.

The bat was found at entrance 8 at the mall on Feb. 5. Victims include anyone or any pet that touched or was bitten by the bat.

Victims may have been exposed to rabies, which is a fatal disease that can usually be prevented if the victim gets a series of shots as soon as possible after being exposed.
The bat was submitted to the Alameda County Public Health Laboratory on Wednesday and tests came back positive Thursday.
The Alameda County Public Health Department can be reached at (510) 267-3250, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Outside of those
hours, callers are asked to follow the voice prompts to get in touch with the public health duty officer.
County officials are also urging pet owners to take their pet to a veterinarian if the pet came in contact with the bat and call the Hayward Animal Services Bureau at (510) 293-7200.
At a veterinarian, the pet needs to get a rabies vaccine booster shot.
County officials said the county is a “declared rabies area” and a rabies vaccination is required for dogs over three months old.
County officials said bat teeth are tiny and people may not notice they have been bitten. Even if a person was not bitten, saliva that is infected with the virus may be acquired through a skin abrasion or the mucous membranes.
Symptoms in humans who do not get the vaccine usually develop in one to three months. Early symptoms include irritability, fever,headache and severe fatigue.
Later, an infected person may have difficulty walking, speaking or swallowing and confusion, hallucinations, agitation or nerve pain.
Almost all people who don’t get the vaccine will become comatose and die within one to two weeks of getting sick.
The bat found at the Southland Mall is the first rabid bat found in Alameda County in 2019. In 2018, rabies was found in two bats, county officials said. Bay Area News

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