The Durham Region Health Department is reaching out to residents in Port Perry after a dead bat tested positive for rabies.
According to the health department, the bat was found dead on the sidewalk by a resident in the Chester Crescent area on Oct. 10.
“The health department received confirmation of the positive rabies test result on Oct. 16. This is the fourth bat to test positive for rabies in Durham Region this year,” reads a media release.
The individuals that have been identified as having had contact with the rabid bat are currently receiving rabies post-exposure treatment.
“Since we’re not sure how long the bat might have been in the area, or it may have also been in other locations around the neighbourhood, the health department would like to speak with anyone who may have had any type of contact with the bat,” said Nella Correia, a senior public health inspector.
“If we receive calls from individuals indicating that they had contact with this bat, everyone affected will be assessed to determine if there is a need for follow-up treatment. If treatment is required, it will be administered by a health care practitioner.”
Correia noted that it’s important for residents to remember that rabies can be found in bats and other wild animals in the community, therefore, everyone needs to be cautious and avoid all contact with these animals.
She also stressed that people need to ensure that their pets are up to date on rabies vaccination.
The health department encourages everyone to take the following precautions to help protect your family and pets from rabies:
– If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately wash the affected area(s) thoroughly with soap and water and seek further medical attention from a health care provider.
– Immediately notify the Durham Region Health Department to report the bite or scratch.
– Avoid any wild, stray or aggressive animals.
– Do not feed or keep any wild animals, such as raccoons, as pets.
– Do not have any contact with dead or sick animals.
– Keep your pet’s rabies vaccination up-to-date.
– Keep your pet on a leash when off your property.
Anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the bat that was found in the Port Perry area is urged to call 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613. If calling after 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday or on weekends, call 1-800-372-1104.
For more information on rabies awareness, click HERE.