August 9, 2006

Bat warning issued

 

Bat has tested positive for rabies in Newmarket

 

NEWMARKET York Region Health Services warns residents to be cautious around bats after receiving confirmation that a bat has tested positive for rabies in Newmarket. 

 

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, an infant, a child or those with cognitive impairments, 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.  Do not touch a bat with your bare hands.

        If you suspect that your 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).

 

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For more information on the Regional Municipality of York and our services, please visit www.york.ca

 

Media Contact:         Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, York Region Health Services

                                 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 4016 or after-hours pager (905) 830-3302

                                 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

 
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