Toronto

1st rabid bat since 2016 found in the city

A bat has tested positive for rabies, marking the first time since 2016 an animal has been found to have the disease.

Toronto Public Health urging people to avoid wild animals, check pet's vaccination records

Toronto Public Health is urging people to avoid coming in contact with wildlife, especially any bat that appears to be acting strangely. (Submitted by Cory Olson)

A bat has tested positive for rabies, marking the first time since 2016 an animal has been found to have the disease in the city.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is urging the public to avoid contact with wild animals to avoid the chance of contracting the viral infection. 

The city agency notes in a news release that it's rare for bats to pass the disease to humans, and that only two to three per cent of Ontario's bat population has rabies. However, a B.C. man died in July after coming in contact with a diseased bat on Vancouver Island.

Anyone who does have contact with a bat should be assessed by a healthcare provider.

Torontonians are also urged to ensure their pet's rabies vaccinations are up to date.

There are ways to spot rabid bats. 

The sick animals often lose their ability to fly or don't fly well, TPH said. 

"Other signs that a bat may be rabid include wandering around in the daylight, crawling on the ground or otherwise acting strangely."

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