Kitchener-Waterloo

Bat found in Guelph home tests positive for rabies

One person has been bitten by a bat that tested positive for rabies, says Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. The agency is reminding people to avoid wildlife as rabies is active in the area.

One person bitten by a bat, Guelph-Dufferin Public Health

A person in Guelph was bitten by a bat that tested positive for rabies, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says. (Peter Thomson/La Crosse Tribune/The Associated Press)

One person has been bitten by a bat that tested positive for rabies, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says.

The bat was found in a house in Guelph and now, public health is reminding people to avoid wildlife as rabies is active in the area.

The virus is most commonly spread by animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats.

Public health says the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has been distributing rabies vaccine baits to mitigate the spread rabies in wildlife, but adds there is no vaccine or bait available for bats.

Public health advises people to avoid an animal if you suspect it may have rabies and to contact animal control.

"Rabies is a fatal disease if left untreated," Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, said in a 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."

Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, most commonly through a bite, the agency said.

An animal or person can also be affected through scratches, open wounds or mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and eyes.

Public health says the bat is the first report of an animal testing positive for rabies this year. Two bats tested positive for rabies in Guelph last year.

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