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Regional Health Department issues a rabies alert - bat found in Oakville had rabies.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 22nd, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

The Halton Region Health Department has received test results confirming that a bat found at Honeyvale Road and Swansea Drive in Oakville, on Friday, June 17, had rabies. Residents who may have had physical contact with a bat in this area are advised to immediately contact the Health Department by dialing 311.

bat - animal

Bat in Oakville found to have rabies

“The Health Department is reminding residents to avoid all contact with bats and other wild animals,” said Matt Ruf, Director, Healthy Environments & Communicable Disease for Halton Region. “Anyone who comes in physical contact with a bat or other wild animal should see a physician immediately and contact the Health Department.”

Rabies is a viral disease that causes severe damage to the brain and spinal cord, leading to death. The virus is spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually entering through a bite. Rabies illness in humans can be prevented after exposure to rabies by the use of rabies vaccine, which is extremely effective, but only if it is administered before symptoms occur.

It is not always possible to identify if a bat has rabies, however rabid bats may move slowly, lose the ability to fly, remain active during daylight hours or be unresponsive to loud noises.

There are a number of things you can do to protect your family and pets:

• Make sure your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up to date.
• Warn your children to stay away from any wild, stray or aggressive animals.
• Do not touch dead or sick animals.
• Do not feed or keep wild animals as pets.
• Keep your pet tied on a leash when off your property.
• Seek medical attention immediately if you come in contact with a potentially rabid animal.
• Any pet that has come in contact with a bat, raccoon or other wild animal should be seen by a veterinarian.
• Report all animal bites or scratches to the Halton Region Health Department.

For more information on rabies, visit halton.ca/rabies or call the Halton Region Health Department by dialing 311.

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