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Media Advisory

Health officials to hold press conference on death of Contra Costa man from rabies

Man dies abroad after contact with bat in Contra Costa County

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Contra Costa Public Health will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Friday to discuss the county's first death from rabies in nearly 20 years. A 34-year-old Contra Costa County man died from the disease on July 31 while working abroad in another country. Tests later confirmed rabies to be the cause of death. After an investigation, health officials believe he contracted rabies in the southern part of Contra Costa in late March after coming into contact with a bat. The man became ill after leaving the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report of its investigation today:

Most human rabies infections in the United States are attributed to rabid bat exposure. Though rabies infections in people are rare in the United States, once symptoms begin, rabies is almost always fatal. This case highlights the importance of continued efforts to raise public awareness about the risk of rabies virus exposure in the United States. To be safe, people should not handle bats or other wildlife, and any contact should be reported to local health officials.


10 a.m., Friday, October 5


50 Douglas Drive
First Floor, Mt Diablo Room
Martinez, CA 94553


The press conference will include representatives from Contra Costa Health Services' Public Health Division, the California Department of Public Health, and Contra Costa Animal Services. CDC representatives will be available by phone on Friday.

Contra Costa Public Health will not conduct interviews prior to the press conference. For more information about rabies, visit

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