Hayward mall bats deemed rabid, health officials warn



A bat found at a Hayward mall earlier this month was enraged, according to officials from the Alameda County Public Health Department.

The bat, captured by Hayward Animal Control on Feb. 5, was taken from Southland Mall to the Alameda County Public Health Laboratory, where she was tested positive for rabies.

Officials are now asking all those who hit the bat or who were bitten between February 5 and 13 to contact Public Health at (510) 267-3250.

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"A bat bite can be very, very symbolic and sometimes people do not even know that they've been bitten," said spokeswoman for the Alameda County Public Health Department. , Sherri Willis. "It's amazing how many people are going to hit a bat … This mall is a big mall and we wanted to spread the word about it."

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In the United States, most cases of human rabies are due to contact with bats, according to Dr. Erica Pan, interim health officer for the county. For this reason, the Department of Health wants to make sure that all the people who could have been affected are taken into account.

"We want to define what is the exposure," says Willis, "and that extends to humans and pets."

Alyssa Pereira is a staff writer for SFGATE. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at the address @alyspereira.

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