May 26, 2006
Media Release

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.  This is the first reported case of rabies in bats in York Region in 2006.
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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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, York Region Health Services
 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 4016 or after-hours pager (905) 830-3302


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