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Bat in Huron County tests positive for rabies

Huron Perth, ON  ̶  A bat located in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh has tested positive for rabies. The bat was sent for testing after biting an individual. That individual is receiving rabies post exposure prophylaxis, which prevents them from getting rabies.

This is the first animal to test positive for rabies in 2023, and the fourth animal in Huron Perth to test positive since January 2020. All of the animals testing positive have been bats. “This latest positive result reminds us that rabies is present in Huron Perth,” says Dale Lyttle, Senior Public Health Inspector.  “If you are bitten or scratched by a bat, or if infectious material (such as saliva) from a bat gets into your eyes, nose, or an open wound, wash the affected area thoroughly and seek medical attention immediately.”

Rabies is a viral disease and is fatal to humans and other mammals. The rabies virus is commonly spread by wild animals such as foxes, skunks, raccoons and bats. Humans can be exposed to rabies when they come in contact with saliva from an infected animal, usually through a bite or scratch.  Saliva, may also come in contact with the moist tissues of the mouth, nose, eyes or an open wound (e.g. cut).

If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal, you should:

  • Wash the wound immediately with soap and water
  • Seek medical attention
  • Contact Huron Perth Public Health at 1-888-221-2133 ext 3670 to report the incident as soon as possible

To protect your family and your pets from rabies:

  • Bat-proof your home or cottage, by sealing openings where bats may enter.
    • Caulk holes in your home’s exterior, even those as small as one-quarter to one-half inch in diameter.
    • Tighten screens, cap your chimney, place draft guards under doors leading to the attic and outside, and fill plumbing fixture holes with steel wool or caulk.
    • Keep doors tightly closed when going outside and coming back indoors.
  • Keep pets up-to-date with their rabies vaccination. In Ontario, it’s the law that all cats and dogs over three months of age be vaccinated against rabies.
  • Stay away from wild animals, dogs and cats you don’t know, or animals that are acting strangely. An animal acting strangely could be a sign that it is sick.
  • Keep pets away from wildlife. Prevent your pets from running free in the neighbourhood, and keep them indoors at night.

Contact Us

Huron Perth Public Health

Huron Office
77722B London Road, RR #5, Clinton, ON
N0M 1L0

Perth Office
653 West Gore St., Stratford ON N5A 1L4
Toll-free 1-888-221-2133

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