Rabid bats a problem in So. California

July 22, 2011 at 12:44 PM

MOORPARK, Calif., July 22 (UPI) -- A Southern California man bitten and infected by a rabid bat is taking vaccinations and his house is under quarantine, health officials said.

Steve Spence of Moorpark was bitten on his foot as he took his trash out to the curb barefoot, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

"I immediately thought 'I'm screwed,'" said Spence, 54, who works for a non-profit that serves the homeless and mentally ill.

Ventura and Los Angeles counties have both reported larger than normal numbers of rabid bats this summer.

A dozen bats were collected in two months at four homes in Moorpark, including Spence's, and 10 of them tested positive, Ventura County public health officials said.

The homes were near Moorpark College, and Ventura county officials are warning residents in the area about the potential danger, KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, reported Thursday.

"In a typical year, all Ventura County might have seven or eight [rabid] bats," said John Brand, an analyst in the Moorpark city manager's office. "Now we've collected 10 in a 60-day period in one neighborhood."

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