June 24, 2019 12:30 pm

Bat found at Guelph home tests positive for rabies: public health

Public Health officials say one person in Guelph has been exposed to a bat that tested positive for rabies.

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Public health officials say one person in Guelph has been exposed to a bat that tested positive for rabies.

They are using the incident to remind residents to avoid contact with wildlife to prevent contracting the deadly disease.

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Pet owners should also remain vigilant and vaccinate their dogs and cats for rabies.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s medical officer of health and CEO Dr. Nicola Mercer said rabies is a fatal disease if left untreated.

“If you encounter wildlife, such as a fox, raccoon, skunk or bat, avoid touching it,” she said. “If you think you have been bitten or scratched, contact your physician immediately or go to a hospital emergency department.”

The agency is also urging homeowners not to touch or try to catch a bat if it’s in their home. Instead, call animal control.

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The incident follows two cases of bats testing positive for rabies in Guelph in 2018.

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Anyone who has had direct contact with a bat should call their family doctor or go to the hospital.

Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite. However, health officials said saliva can also enter the body through scratches, open wounds or mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and eyes.

More information can be found on Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s website.

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