Thursday, July 21, 2011

10 rabid bats found in Moorpark, Ventura County - 20th July 2011

Ten bats recently found in Moorpark have tested positive for rabies, Ventura County health officials confirmed Wednesday.

The bats were collected from several homes in a neighborhood next to Moorpark College.

John Brand, the city's senior management analyst, said about a dozen bats were collected over a period of two months in four homes. Bats also have been seen around a fifth property, which has a pool.

"More bats are being found, so the numbers are in flux," Brand said.

Ten of the bats collected have tested positive for rabies in the past 68 days, said Dr. Robert Levin, county public health officer.

Levin said Ventura County does get some rabid bats, but only eight to 12 test positive per year. Finding 10 testing positive in a two-month period in a small area of the county is troublesome, he said.

"It's a higher number than usual. I am concerned about it," Levin said.

Brand said city officials have canvassed the neighborhood and notified homeowners about bats.

At issue is whether removing bats from homes is a homeowner responsibility or something the city must handle because it's a public health issue. City officials are currently discussing the situation.

Ventura County is not the only county in California dealing with rabid bats.

Last month, Orange County health officials issued a warning after multiple dead bats were found in Laguna Niguel Regional Park and one tested positive for rabies. Orange County health officials only announce their discoveries if bats are found in a public area.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 21 bats with rabies were found there last year, more than double the average number of 10. So far in 2011 in Los Angeles, 11 rabid animals, all bats, have been detected. Read More