Oakland Zoo Volunteer Bit by Rabid Bat

Vector Control staff canvassed the Oakland Zoo and surrounding neighborhood Tuesday to distribute rabies information

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Health officials are warning Oakland residents to be on the lookout for other animals who may be infected with rabies. Jodi Hernandez reports. (Published Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013)

    Health officials are warning an Oakland neighborhood to be cautious of rabid animals in the area after a volunteer at the Oakland Zoo was bit by a bat that tested positive for rabies.

    The incident occurred over the weekend, according to the Alameda County Vector Control.

    A spokeswoman at the zoo said the victim was a teenage girl.

    Authorities said a patron at the zoo noticed a bat on a ledge trying to crawl up the glass outside the otter exhibit and notified the volunteer. The animal bit her when she went to go pick it up.

    This all happened Saturday, but because Vector Control is closed on the weekend, the test of the animal couldn't take place until Monday.

    The test came back positive, and the volunteer is already getting post-exposure treatment, officials said.

    Vector Control said it is a coincidence the bat was on the zoo property, adding it has no connection to any zoo exhibit.

    The bat in question is a Wild Mexican Free-tailed bat. Vector Control said this is the third bat infected with rabies in Alameda County this year. The two previous bats were detected in Pleasanton and San Lorenzo. One rabid bat bit a cat, the other bit a dog. Both pets have since recovered.

    Last year rabies was detected in four bats, one each from Berkeley and Hayward, and two from Fremont, according to Vector Control.

    Vector Control staff canvassed the Oakland Zoo and surrounding neighborhood Tuesday to distribute rabies information.

    Health experts say you can come in contract with the rabies virus even if you aren't bitten, but it is found in a sick animals saliva.