Rabid bat found in neighbouring Dufferin County

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Public health officials are offering a warning about rabid animals after a bat tested positive for rabies in neighbouring Dufferin County.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) officials received notification of the positive rabies test on June 2.

“There was no human exposure reported at the time of the incident,” states the June 4 WDGPH press release.

Last year there were five rabid bats found in the WDGPH region: two in Guelph and one each in Mount Forest, Rockwood and East Garafraxa.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry distributes rabies vaccine baits to curb the spread of the virus, but there is no vaccine or bait for bats.

“Rabies is a fatal disease if you don’t get vaccinated after being exposed,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, WDGPH’s Medical Officer of Health and CEO.

“Don’t touch a bat or try and catch one that you find in your home – call your local animal control agency.

“If anyone has direct contact with the bat, call your family doctor, or visit your local hospital emergency department immediately.”

Officials advise residents to stay away from all wildlife, including bats, raccoons, foxes and stray cats and dogs.

“If you suspect an animal has rabies do not go near it,” states the health unit release.

“Contact your local animal control service or the police. Ensure pets are vaccinated against rabies and are supervised when outdoors.”

For more information about rabies, visit wdgpublichealth.ca/rabies.