Woman Scratched By Rabid Bat

A rabies advisory has been issued by Tehama County Public Health after a woman was exposed to a rabid bat. The viral disease is widespread in Tehama County bats. It's often difficult to tell if an animal is rabid because stereotypical symptoms such as foaming at the mouth usually don't occur until the later stages of the disease, if at all. A better indicator is a general change in behavior, like nocturnal animals becoming active during the day. That's the warning sign that should have alerted a woman on Tuesday. The 64-year-old Tehama County resident stepped over a bat that was lying on the ground and it scratched her foot, breaking the skin. The bat was collected and tested positive for rabies, so the woman had to undergo treatment. Any bat seen during the day should be assumed to be rabid. Wild or domestic animals with rabies might stagger or act restless, they might be aggressive or change the usual tone of barks or growls. Sometimes they can appear to be choking. Human symptoms include fever, headache, and generally feeling unwell. The vast majority of reported cases occur in bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes while dogs, cats, and cattle account for about 10 percent of reported cases.