Bat infected with rabies found in North Berkeley

A bat infected with rabies was recently found in Berkeley, prompting the city to send out a media release about how to protect against rabies.

The bat was found in the 300 block of Rugby Street — in North Berkeley and approximately three miles north of the UC Berkeley campus — and was “removed without incident” according to the release.

If not treated immediately, rabies — transmitted to humans by a bite or a scratch from an infected animal — has no known cure and is always fatal in humans. However, person-to-person spread is rare, according to the Alameda County Public Health Department.

“In Berkeley, bats and skunks are the most likely animals to be infected, although unimmunized dogs, foxes, coyotes, badgers, weasels, raccoons and unvaccinated cats can also carry the rabies virus,” the release reads.

Alameda County has been designated as a “Rabies Area” since 1958, according to the release.

“Avoid skunks and bats and do not handle dead wild animals,” the release reads.

According to the release, conditions that could mean that animals need to be tested are as follows:

  • A skunk roaming or staggering in daylight.
  • A bat hanging on a window screen or sill.
  • A grey fox acting in an aggressive manner in the daytime.

Soumya Karlamangla is the assistant city news editor.