Runner talks about his exposure to rabid bat - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Runner talks about his exposure to rabid bat

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - We're hearing from the man who came in contact with a rabid bat in Del Mar.

The 31-year-old – who asked us not to reveal his identify -- had just finished the annual mud run at the fairgrounds when the animal landed on him.

"So the bat landed right here on my left side and then, started to climb up towards my armpit," he said.

The man was having a beer with a friend in the infield when a bat flew down and landed on his shirt.

"This kid actually runs up and yells 'Don't move, don't move, there's a bat on you!'" he said.

He was on his cell phone, so his arm was raised, and the bat was crawling up his side.

"I'm not going to lie, I screamed. Wasn't the most manly yelp, screamed like a little girl kind of, and ran over to where there wasn't people, so I wasn't going to throw it at people. And just basically ripped my shirt off and spiked it on the ground.

"I was shaken up and then other people kind of came and took my shirt and corralled it into a box," he said.

End of story, or so he thought. Six days later, he received an email.

"I got an email from a coworker that said 'I think you need to read this article,'" he said.

When he clicked on the link last Friday, up popped a scary looking photo of a bat with the headline, "Runner potentially exposed to rabies at Del Mar Mud Run."

"So I read it over and I was like, that's definitely me they're talking about," he said.

He was actually out of town visiting friends, and had no idea he was the subject of a search here in San Diego.

"I didn't even hesitate, I called them right away," he said.

Local health officials told him he needed immediate treatment.

"They said the bite could be as small as a pin prick, and if that were the case, and I didn't realize it and it had already healed up because there's no mark, I'd be exposed," he said.

In unvaccinated people, the rabies virus -- which causes inflammation of the brain -- is almost always fatal.

"Once you start showing symptoms, you're pretty much done," the man said.

He says he's grateful to those at the mud run who contained the bat so it could be tested.

"It definitely makes me think thank goodness there was a string of things that happened which made it so I will be okay," he said.

And he now has some new nicknames, just in time for Halloween.

"From being called Batman, to Rabies Boy… so it's all in good fun, now that they know I'll be okay," he said.

All joking aside, he knows it's a serious disease and hopes his story raises awareness about the potential that wild animals can be rabid. Health officials say if you come into contact with an animal that could have rabies, do not touch it and call Animal Control.

San Diego County's Health and Human Services Agency is also still interested in talking to any of the people who helped contain that bat in the box, to make sure they are not at risk.

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