Rabies incident involving bats in Kern County

Posted at 12:18 AM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 03:18:52-04

Today animal control passed out pamphlets after a family's cat was quarantined and later euthanized, all because of a bat with rabies.

We hear about rabies from health officials and veterinarians, but after the latest incident involving bats Kern County health official Claudia Jonah say it comes as no surprise.

“Kern County is endemic for rabies and the most common animal that we test and find out that it might be positive is bats,” said Jonah.

In the latest incident 23 ABC learned that a local pet cat caught and killed two bats last week.

That cat was then quarantined and eventually euthanized at its owner's request.

After tests were done on the bats, results came back positive for one of them having rabies.

Something that Jonah says is fairly common in kern county.

“We do have a pretty good rate of infection in bats. And if those bats come in contact with pets, animals, you know it can transmit that infection,” said Jonah.

But Jonah says this exact instance is very uncommon, in fact in her more than 27 years as a public health officer she has only seen this happen one other time.

“A cat, a family pet cat in Kern County actually contacted rabies and progressed to the point of demonstrating the infection,” said Jonah.

Now tonight some residents like Priscilla Calro and Charles Manor say even rare instances like these demonstrate why pet vaccinations are important.

“I think we all have to be careful about what's in our area. We certainly have to protect people as well the animals,” said Calro.

“Well as a pet owner you have to. I mean like I said, they're like kids. You don't send your child to school without vaccination, you know,” said Manor.

Public health officials continue to recommend pet owners to get their animals vaccinated against rabies as well as stay up to date on all other necessary vaccinations.