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Family Finds Rabid Bat; 6th in County

November 07, 1998|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

A loud thump heard inside a Camarillo family's lakeside home marked the discovery of the sixth rabid bat reported this year in Ventura County, health officials said Friday.

The furry, nocturnal creature slammed into a house on Dockside Lane at Camino Lake just after sundown Oct. 27, county public health nurse Linda Vrtis said. A test for rabies was concluded this week, she said.

"They heard it kind of hit up against the garage and they went out to investigate it. They knew not to touch it," Vrtis said.

The residents used a stick to push the dead bat into an empty coffee can and stored it overnight before calling animal control officials.

The first report of a rabid bat in Camarillo this year, it follows anOct. 20 incident in which a Ventura family's dog was spotted with a bat in its mouth.

Despite an option to quarantine, the family decided to have its four dogs and a kitten euthanized.

Some of their pets had not been vaccinated, health officials said.

People who have contact with bats should be seen immediately by a doctor, health officials said. All pets should receive regular rabies vaccinations.

"It's a death sentence for an unvaccinated pet that comes in contact with a rabid bat," said Dr. Robert Levin, a county health officer.

The number of bats found in the state is at its highest level in recent history, officials said.

In the first 10 months of this year, 152 rabid bats have been found.

In the same time period five years ago, 97 were discovered.

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