Bat found in Guelph home tests positive for rabies
The northern myotis bat, as part of the Toronto Zoo's Native Bat Conservation Program. (Toronto Zoo/Native Bat Conservation Program)
Published Monday, June 24, 2019 10:55AM EDT
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says a bat found at a home in Guelph has tested positive for rabies.
They want to remind the public that they should avoid all contact with wildlife as the deadly disease is active in the area.
While the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry distributes vaccine baits to stop the spread of the virus, there is no vaccine for bats.
“Rabies is a fatal disease if left untreated,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, the Medical Officer of Health and CEO for the agency, in a press release. “If you encounter wildlife, such as a fox, raccoon, skunk or bat, avoid touching it. If you think you have been bitten or scratched, contact your physician immediately or go to a hospital emergency department.”
Homeowners should also call their local animal control agency.
Rabies is a fatal virus that affects both animals and humans.
It is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal by a bite or through scratches, open wounds or the mouth, nose and eyes.
Public Health says two bats also tested positive for rabies in 2018.