The Orange County Health Care Agency warned the public Friday that a rabid bat was found this week in the city of Orange.
The bat was found along a brick wall between 1500 and 1600 East Santa Ana Canyon Road about 4 p.m. Tuesday. Tests showed the bat had rabies, according to the HCA.
Anyone who thinks they may have touched the infected bat is asked to call the agency immediately at 714-834-8180 so they can be evaluated for rabies, a virus that attacks the central nervous system and is nearly always fatal if not treated with a series of vaccines before symptoms appear.
An infected animal like a bat is usually how it is transmitted to people, and since bats have tiny teeth, a bite may go unnoticed, HCA officials said.
Rabies can lay dormant in the human body for one to three months before the appearance of symptoms, which include fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis and mental confusion.