Confirmed Case of Rabies Found in Burlington

Burlington residents might want to be aware of some health-related news.

According to a recent media release, on Oct. 1, the Halton Region Health Department received test results that confirmed a bat found in the Upper Middle Road and Appleby Line area in Burlington had rabies.

This is the first confirmed case of rabies in Halton this year.

"The Health Department is reminding residents to avoid all contact with bats and other wild animals," Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health, said in a recent media release.

"Residents who may have had physical contact with a bat should see a physician immediately and contact the Health Department by calling 311."

Rabies can lead to severe brain damage, spinal cord damage, and if left untreated, death.

The virus is spread through the saliva of an infected animal, typically entering through a bite or scratch.

In humans, rabies illness can be prevented after being exposed by the use of rabies vaccine, which is extremely effective, but only if it is administered before symptoms occur.

It is not always possible to identify if a bat has rabies, however rabid bats may move slowly, lose the ability to fly, remain active during daylight hours or be unresponsive to loud noises.

The Halton Region Health Department urges people to take precautions in order to protect themselves, family, and pets from this disease.

Some precaution methods include:

  • Seeking medical attention immediately when someone comes into contact with a raccoon, skunk, bat or other potentially rabid animal.
  • Reporting all animal bites or scratches to the Halton Region Health Department.
  • Warning children to stay away from any wild, stray or aggressive animals.
  • Not feeding or keeping wild animals as pets.
  • Not touching dead or sick animals.
  • Keeping pet's rabies vaccinations up to date.
  • Keeping pet(s) on a leash when off your property.
  • Having pet(s) seen by a veterinarian if it has come in contact with a raccoon or other wild animal.

For more information on rabies, visit halton.ca or call the Halton Region Health Department by calling 311.

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