Rabid bats on the rise in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:49pm EST

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - If the threat of earthquakes, wildfires and mudslides isn't enough to worry Los Angeles residents, public health officials are now 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 on Wednesday 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.

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.

(Editing by Peter Bohan)

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Comments (2)
“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…”
Good grief!!! Well, sometimes we all have to pay “stupid tax”, which is what we have to pay when we do something STUPID. Now, understand that I don’t think that everyone that in some way has to pay stupid tax is stupid; it’s just the consequence for stupid actions. Paying the tax is not always done with cash, although losing cash is frequently involved. Sometimes payment is in the form of physical pain, or embarrasment, or social. In this case, it’s probably all of the above, because the treatment is expensive, physically painful, and very likely embarrasing. Also, some of this person’s friends may act as if they don’t know him. Let’s hope the person involved IS embarrased. If he (or she) isn’t embarrased, then they are, indeed, stupid. As the old saying goes, there’s not too much shame in being ignorant, for ignorance can be cured by study or experience (or both). Stupidity, on the other hand, is permanent.

Nov 18, 2010 2:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
crmitchell wrote:
The “stupid tax” is also to be paid by the fellow in GA, whose 9 month old baby daughter was severely chewed up by 2 racoons while in her crib! Seems that the fool had raised the ‘coons and allowed them free access to the home through open windows and pet doors !

He faces criminal charges – much too good for him. Jail cannot cure stupid !

Nov 19, 2010 3:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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