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Health officials look for person who came in contact with rabid bat in Stanley Park

Photo by Newspix / Rex Features .
Photo by Newspix / Rex Features .

Public health officials in Vancouver are looking for the person who handled a rabid bat near Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park on Wednesday.

They say the individual left information about the condition of the bat, which has now tested positive for rabies.

This person is asked to call Vancouver Coastal Health at 604-675-3900 to see if they may need vaccination.

Since rabies is endemic in bats in British Columbia, the public is advised to avoid handling bats.

Rabies is a fatal disease that affects the central nervous system.

If a bat is infected with rabies it can transmit the disease to humans when its saliva comes into contact with a person’s mucus membranes, or through a break in the skin.

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The majority of human contact with bats happens between July and September when they are most active and juveniles are weaned.

The most recent human case of rabies in B.C. linked to a bat strain of the virus took place in 2003 and was fatal.

People who have been bitten or scratched by a bat, or who have handled a bat, should immediately wash the bite or scratch with soap and water, using lots of water to flush the wound and seek medical attention right away.

In the Lower Mainland, injured bats can be reported to the Wildlife Rescue Association at 604-526-7275.