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Woman who handled rabid bat sought

POSTED December 11, 2009 11:26 p.m.
The Merced County health officials are seeking help from the community in locating an adult woman who may have handled a rabid bat in or around the city of Los Banos.
The woman and possible family members could need urgent rabies preventive treatment if she or any other person handled the bat with bare hands.
The woman reportedly found the bat in her driveway on the morning of Nov. 13 before bringing it to the  California Department of Fish and Game office, located near the city of Los Banos.
Based on investigative work conducted jointly by the Merced County Health Department and Merced County Animal Control, it is believed that the woman and her family reside somewhere near Los Banos and may frequent clinics there. The woman is described to be white, in her late 30s to early 40s, around 5 feet, 7 inches tall, with long dark strawberry blonde hair. An elementary school aged daughter accompanied her, and she may have other children. It is believed that the woman scooped up the bat with a plastic-ware container lid and placed it in a plastic-ware container. The woman and her family are also believed to have a cat, but it is unclear if the cat had any contact with the rabid bat.  
The woman in question should immediately contact the Health Department Disease Surveillance and Investigation unit at 381-1020.   

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