Rabid Bat Identified

A confirmed rabies test result in a bat found in the Kemble area has been reported to Grey Bruce Health Unit by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). A fully-immunized domestic cat was exposed to the bat and, as a result, has received a rabies booster and is under observation at home.  No human exposure was identified.

Rabies is a deadly disease of the central nervous system that affects humans and other mammals. The virus is found in the saliva of rabid animals and can spread through a bite, or if the saliva comes in contact with a cut or scratch, or the moist tissues of the mouth, nose or eyes. Rabies is fatal to animals and without timely preventative treatment after exposure will cause death in humans. There is no known treatment for rabies once the symptoms appear.

This is the first rabid animal identified in Grey Bruce this year. One rabid bat was identified in 2017. This incident is a reminder that rabies continues to be present in local wildlife and can spill over into domestic animals creating a risk for human exposure.

Exposure can be prevented by:

  • Not feeding or touching a wild or unknown animal, an animal acting strangely or an animal that appears to be sick or injured.
  • Keeping pets under control at all times.
  • Immunizing cats, dogs, ferrets and, where possible, livestock against rabies; in Ontario it is the law to immunize cats, dogs, and ferrets, and livestock (including horses, cattle and sheep) that may have contact with the general public.

 For further information, call Public Health at 519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 or visit our website at www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca.