GUELPH – A Guelph resident has been exposed to a bat found at a home that has since tested positive for rabies.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) is reminding \residents that rabies is active in the area and people should avoid contact with wildlife to prevent contracting the disease.
Pet owners should also vaccinate dogs and cats.
In 2018, two bats in Guelph tested positive for rabies. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry distributes rabies vaccine baits to curb the spread of the virus in wildlife; however, there is no vaccine or bait for bats.
“Rabies is a fatal disease if left untreated,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for WDGPH.
“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.”
Anyone who finds a bat in their home, should not attempt to touch it or catch it, and instead call a local animal control agency, publis health officials say.
Anyone who has direct contact with a bat should call their family doctor or visit a hospital emergency department immediately.
“If you suspect any animal has rabies, do not go near it,” officials state.
Rabies is a fatal virus that affects mammals, including humans, and is most commonly transmitted through the saliva of infected wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats.
For more information about rabies, visit wdgpublichealth.ca/rabies.