A live and rabies-positive bat was found and captured in Hayes Valley several weeks ago, and the health department wants anyone who may have had any contact with the animal to give them a call.
We don't see a ton of bats in the middle of San Francisco — or I don't — but they're apparently here. And somehow conveniently close to Halloween we get word of a notice from the SF Department of Public Health that there was a rabid bat found at Fulton and Gough streets on September 21. The bat was captured by Animal Care and Control and it was then tested for rabies.
The notice was dated September 27 and posted on utility poles in the Hayes Valley neighborhood.
Rabid 🦇notice.— Hayes Valley Safe (@hayesvalleysafe) October 10, 2023
Posted at Fulton and Gough. pic.twitter.com/KcUk2v0Kp4
The notice was subsequently shared by the Twitter account Hayes Valley Safe and reported by the SF Standard.
Anyone who — why would they? — might have touched the bat is asked to call the health department 415-554-9400. And basically everyone should make sure they've had their rabies shots, but especially those who may have encountered this bat.
Rabies cases in people are exceedingly rare, with only 1 to 3 reported annually in the U.S. About 5,000 cases of animal rabies are reported each year, primarily in wild animals — and on the West Coast, the disease in mainly found in bats and skunks according to the Centers for Disease Control. See the CDC's map of rabies distribution across the country below.
The last report of a rabid bat in San Francisco that we could find was in 2014, when one was found in a Richmond District driveway.
Prior to that, there was one reported in the Sunset District in 2008.
Over in Oakland, a teenage volunteer at the Oakland Zoo was bitten by a rabid bat in 2013 — though the bat was not part of any zoo exhibit.
Photo: Todd Cravens