Rabid bats take flight in San Francisco 

Not to be sensationalistic or anything, but rabid bats appear to be on the rise in San Francisco.

Well, OK, the increase is probably not statistically significant. But the fact remains that five rabid bats were found in San Francisco in 2009, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Annual Report of Communicable Diseases.

That is the most that has been found in several years: In 2008, four were found, and in both 2006 and 2007, one was found. A combined tally for 2004 and 2005 was seven.

Bats are the primary carriers of rabies these days, and the Public Health department has periodically released warnings about handling bats, or allowing dogs near them.

Public health spokesman Jim Soos says that most of the rabid bats in San Francisco are discovered after people find them in their homes or dead in their yards and then report them to Animal Care and Control. That agency responds and if the animals are still alive, they euthanize them.

They then remove the bats' brains and send them over to Public Health, where they are tested for rabies.
Soos said the numbers for 2010 havent’ been compiled yet, so he wasn’t able to tell us whether the trend continued. Bat we’ll let you know rabidly when we find owlt.

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Katie Worth

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