Monday, November 22, 2010

Celebs take cover! Mysterious influx of deadly rabid bats puts Hollywood on health alert


Invasion: A brown bat (file photo). LA health officials are warning of a mysterious increase in rabid bats in the area

As if the threat of earthquakes, wildfires, mudslides and sightings of make-up free celebrities wasn't enough to worry Los Angeles residents.

Now public health officials are warning of an unusually high number of rabid bats.
According to the Department of Public Health, 21 bats with rabies have been found in Los Angeles County this year, more than double the average number of 10.

The county's public health director, Jonathan Fielding, said the reason for the increase is unclear.

'Regardless, it is important that all county residents understand the potential dangers posed to themselves and their pets, as most of these rabid bats have been found in and around homes,' he said.

He urged parents to make sure their children know to leave bats and other wildlife alone, and to keep pets away from wildlife.

Rabies is a serious viral illness that affects the central nervous system and could cause brain disease and death.

County officials said one resident who was trying to nurse a sick bat back to health was bitten and had to be treated for rabies.

Fielding said two dogs and a cat were recently found playing with live, rabid bats.

If the pets had not been up to date on their rabies vaccinations, their owners may have been forced to euthanize them.

source: dailymail

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