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A young girl from the East Valley is recovering after being bitten by a rabid bat.

Maricopa County Public Health told 92.3 KTAR it is the first confirmation of a rabid bat in the county this year. In 2011, five rabid animals were reported in the county.

The girl stuck her hand in a bush and the bat sunk its teeth into her, then jumped into her palm. She is expected to recover after treatment.

According to the Mayo Clinic online, that consists of a series of injections.

"When I got that call from the Arizona State Laboratory that the bat was positive for rabies, all I could think of was my own child and how important it is for parents to tell their children not to touch bats," said county public health Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine.

She recommended keeping pets and people away from wild animals, especially those showing strange behavior.

"Especially if they're on the ground, or a pet has caught them or in a swimming pool," Sunenshine said.

She also advised not picking up bats that are on the ground -- note the location and call animal control.

Paul Ihander, News Director

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