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Health officials issue rabies alert

Man possibly infected at Kelso Depot

Tips to protect your family and pets from rabies:

• Do not touch, feed, harass or provide shelter for any unfamiliar pets, wild or stray animals.

• Vaccinate your pets against rabies.

• Do not leave your pets outside unattended or let pets roam free.

• Get pets spayed or neutered. They are less likely to leave home, become strays and make more stray animals.

• Keep trash cans tightly covered and avoid storing any food outside.

• Bat-proof your home by sealing small openings and keeping unscreened doors and windows closed.

• Teach children never to approach any unfamiliar animals and to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten or scratched by any animal.

• Seek immediate medical attention if you are exposed to or bitten by an animal.

Source: San Bernardino County Public Health Department

SAN BERNARDINO • County Public Health officials are looking for a man who may have been exposed to a rabid bat near the Mojave National Preserve, according to a San Bernardino County news release.

A bat that tested positive for rabies landed on the man’s neck outside the bookstore at Kelso Depot on April 30, according to the release.

Officials are urging the man to contact the county of San Bernardino Department of Public Health.

“Rabies is almost always fatal in humans once symptoms begin,” county health officer Maxwell Ohikhuare, M.D., stated in a news release. “Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible for any animal bite or possible rabies exposure.”

So far there have been two confirmed rabid bats in the county this year, according to the release.

Officials offer several tips to identify an animal infected with rabies. An infected wild animal may move slowly or act as if they are tame while an infected pet that is usually friendly may snap or try to bite. Other signs include changes in an animal’s behavior, general sickness, problems swallowing and increased drooling.

For more information, call the county Department of Public Health, Communicable Disease Section, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 800-722-4794, or 909-356-3805 after business hours and on weekends.

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