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City of Hamilton confirms first case of rabies in two years came from a rabid bat

Hamilton's public health department says it's first case of rabies in two years came from a rabid bat. FILE

Hamilton’s Public Health Services has confirmed the first positive case rabies in the city since 2017 came from a bat.

The city told Global News that the bat was “found outside of an urban residence, then captured by an individual and reported.”

Public health also admitted to an “outbreak of rabies” in many raccoons, skunks, foxes, and some stray or unknown cats and dogs. A city spokesperson confirmed that 323 animals have tested positive for rabies since December 2015, including one fox and two stray cats.

READ MORE: New Hampshire man bitten by rabid bat hiding in his iPad cover

Public health is urging the public to keep themselves and pets “a safe distance from” any unknown animals, and not to feed, help, handle, relocate or keep any wildlife as pets.

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Rabies is a fatal virus that affects mammals, including humans, and is most commonly spread by wild animals. The affliction is transmitted through the saliva, usually through a bite, but can also enter the body through scratches, open wounds, mouth, nose or eyes.

The city’s animal services are urging anyone seeing a dead, sick or strangely acting wild animal to reach out at 905-546-2489. They also recommend looking into rabies vaccinations for your pet.

WATCH: Provincial experts ‘concerned’ about Alberta bat populations

Click to play video: 'Provincial experts ‘concerned’ about Alberta bat populations' Provincial experts ‘concerned’ about Alberta bat populations
Provincial experts ‘concerned’ about Alberta bat populations – Mar 15, 2019

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