LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County health officials are warning that a record number of rabid bats have been found this year, and residents should avoid them.

Director of Public Health Dr. Jonathan Fielding said Monday that 45 rabid bats have already been confirmed in 2012, topping the record of 38 set in all of 2011.

Fielding says it’s unclear why there are so many cases this year. In an average year only about 10 are found.

Health officials are warning the public to avoid contact with the bats or other wild animals.

If they find a bat that appears sick, they should capture it with a box or bucket, and contact animal control.

If a person is bitten by a bat, they should immediately wash the contact area and call their doctor.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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