Public Health officials in Hamilton have confirmed the city’s first positive case of a rabid bat this year.
Since 2010, Hamilton has confirmed 11 cases of rabid bats that may have come in contact with people, including 3 last year.
Nearly all human cases of rabies in Canada over the past several years have been a result of bites from rabid bats.
As of Thursday, 121 rabid animals have been reported in the Hamilton area this year.
Public Health program manager Richard MacDonald says it is the highest number in the province.
Tips to prevent rabies:
Always keep a safe distance from, and avoid contact with wild animals including raccoons, skunks, bats, unknown dogs and cats and other wild animals. Rabies can make animals aggressive or it can make them appear sick, scared, or friendly.
Bat proof your home
Call Hamilton Animal Services at 905-546-2489 if you see a dead, sick or strangely acting raccoon, skunk, bat, or other wild animal
Do not feed, help, handle, or relocate any wildlife or keep them as pets
If you are bitten by a wild animal, or had direct contact with the animal’s saliva, wash the wound with soap and water, seek medical attention immediately or call Public Health Services at 905-546-2489.
Vaccinate your pets against rabies, and keep rabies vaccinations current for dogs and cats to protect them, and prevent any spread to people.
Contact your vet or the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) at 1-877-424-1300 if your pet is in contact with a wild animal.
For information about rabies, visit www.Hamilton.ca/rabies.