Rabid bat found in Fremont

A bat found at a Fremont community center last week tested positive for rabies, Alameda County Public Health Department officials announced Wednesday.

The bat was found dead on the ground near the entrance to the Wally Pond Irvington Community Center located at 41885 Blacow Road last Friday evening, police and public health officials said. Animal control officers from Fremont police picked up the bat on Saturday around 2 p.m., according to public health officials.

Rabies can be a fatal disease that is passed by touching the saliva or brain tissue of an infected animal or being bitten by one. The virus impacts a person’s brain and nervous system. Anyone exposed to the rabid bat is asked to get a series of vaccine shots from their doctor to prevent the spread of the disease.

Pet owners can take any animals that were exposed to the bat to a veterinarian for a rabies vaccine booster shot. Most human cases of rabies in the U.S. come from bats, which are small animals with tiny teeth. Their bites are barely visible and can go unnoticed.

People who are exposed to rabies but don’t get the vaccine can develop symptoms one to three months after exposure. Symptoms of rabies include difficulty in walking, speaking or swallowing. People may become confused or agitated and may also suffer from hallucinations or nerve pain.

Those who believe they made contact with the rabid bat are asked to call the county public health department at (510) 257-3250.