BRANTFORD, ON – Laboratory testing has confirmed rabies in a bat found in the County of Brant. The bat is now deceased. This is the first confirmed case of animal rabies in Brant this year.
Rabies is a viral disease that causes severe damage to the brain and spinal cord and, if untreated before symptoms appear, can lead to death. The virus is spread through the saliva of an infected animal such as a raccoon, skunk, bat, dog, fox, or other wild animal, usually through a bite or scratch. Rabies illness in humans can be prevented by the use of a rabies vaccine, which is effective, but only if it is administered before symptoms occur.
“While the risk of coming across an animal with rabies in our jurisdiction is still low, people should pay attention when outside,” says Filip Pajtondziev, Manager, Environmental Health and Infectious Diseases. “We recommend staying away from any animal you don’t know. If you see an animal showing rabies symptoms, keep away from it and phone Brant County SPCA as soon as possible to report the animal.”
Symptoms of rabies in animals include:
- Excited or very lethargic behaviour
- Attacking objects or other animals
- Frothing at the mouth
The Brant County Health Unit investigates all animal bites or scratches on humans reported by the public. If you or a family member is bitten or scratched by a wild or domestic animal:
- Wash the bite or scratch site with soap and water
- Tell an adult (if under age 18)
- Seek medical attention immediately
- Phone the Health Unit to report the bite or scratch (519-753-4937 ext. 470)
For more information about rabies in humans please visit https://bchu.org/public-health-topic/rabies/ or phone 519-753-4937 ext. 470. For more information about rabies in pets please phone the Brant County SPCA at 519-756-6620.