NEWMARKET – York Region Health Services warns residents to be cautious around bats after receiving confirmation that a bat has tested positive for rabies in Kettleby, Township of King. This is the fourth reported case of rabies in bats in York Region in 2005.
The suspect bat was submitted for testing on October 7th and confirmed as positive on October 8th. Those in contact with the bat have received the post-exposure vaccine, as a precaution.
Rabies is a viral infection transmitted in the saliva of infected animals. The virus enters the central nervous system of the host, and once symptoms appear it is almost always fatal. A post-exposure vaccine is available in the event of contact with a rabid animal.
Bats are wild animals and as such they should not be approached or touched. Never try to catch a bat or keep one as a pet. If you have bats living on your property and want to remove them, it is best to contact a professional pest control company or wildlife removal company.
Although most animal bites are readily apparent, bites inflicted by bats on a sleeping person may not be felt or leave any visible bite marks. Please follow these instructions:
• If you suspect that you may have been bitten by a bat or discover the presence of a bat in a sleeping quarter it is important that you report this to both your family doctor and Health Connection immediately.
• If you discover a bat outdoors and it is found to be either injured, acting strange or dead do not touch it. Call Health Connection for further direction.
• If you discover a live bat in your home, leave the room, close the door, and contact a Wildlife Removal Company and Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 (toll free). Do not touch a bat with your bare hands.
• If you suspect that pets or livestock have come into contact with a rabid animal, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) at 905-883-1600.
If you have questions about rabies or need to report a suspected rabid animal, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 (toll free).
Contact: Kim Clark, York Region Health Services
905-830-4444 Ext. 4101 Kim.email@example.com