FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- At the Irvington Community Center in Fremont, parents were caught off guard by the discovery of a bat that tested positive for rabies.
"We are here often, and nobody talked about it," said Minchuan Lo of
Signs are now posted at the entrance to the center as families walk in.
Lo stopped by to pick up her preschooler Thursday afternoon.
"Many kids are here to go to the program, and they will come here and play, so I think that they have the responsibility to tell us," said Lo.
The dead Mexican free-tailed bat was found Friday night by a visitor who then notified the front desk at the center.
Fremont police picked it up on Saturday and then turned the bat over to health officials on for tests on Monday. The results came back Tuesday.
In Alameda County, two to six rabid bats are found each year.
Humans exposed to rabies who don't get preventative vaccine shots will usually develop symptoms in one to three months.
"It's just a reminder, rabies is a fatal disease if you catch it," said Daniel Wilson with Alameda County Vector Control.
Vector control representatives canvassed nearby neighborhoods Thursday morning. They stopped by nearly 60 homes to educate residents about the results.
"Your dog picked it up, or your child picked it up, or anybody picked it up, they need to contact their physician," said Wilson.
A warning for neighbors to be on the lookout.
"Now I can keep a watch on what's happening around, and letting kids go out, at least I can alert them, so that will definitely help me with this kind of information," said Radhika Sivakumar of Fremont.
And while the news may be a little unsettling for some, it's a reminder from health officials for those in the area to keep their cool and take the necessary precautions.
Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus that affects the brain and the nervous system. It can be prevented if the exposed person or animal receives a series of rabies vaccine shots as soon as possible after the exposure.
Anyone who touched or may have been bitten by this bat should call the Alameda County Public Health Department at (510)257-3250.