Rabies exposure risk found in Burlington park
Published October 20, 2023 at 4:34 pm
A rabid bat discovered in a Burlington park has local health officials warning of potential exposure of the viral disease to both humans and pets.
The bat was found in LaSalle Park on Oct. 9 and has subsequently tested positive for rabies.
According to Halton Region Public Health, anyone who may have had direct contact with the bat or another suspicious wild animal around this location and date should seek medical attention immediately. If your pet (likely a dog) has been exposed take them to a veterinarian.
While rabies in humans is considered rate, bites from rabid bats have caused almost all human cases of rabies in Canada.
Bats have small, needle-like teeth, and their bites easily go undetected. The health department says if you have been bitten, scratched or exposed to bat saliva, wash any wounds thoroughly with soap and water and go see a doctor.
“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,” states the health department. “The virus is spread through the saliva of an infected animal such as a raccoon, skunk, bat, dog, cat, fox, or other wild animal, usually through a bite or scratch.”
Human exposure is treated through a rabies vaccine but effective if it is administered before symptoms occur.
The health department warns us to stay away from wild animals whether they are dead or alive. If you have encountered one contact Animal Control Services. You can report all animal bites or scratches to Halton Region Public Health by calling 311.inhalton's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising