On May 29, 2020, Halton Region Public Health confirmed that a bat found in the Creek Path Woods trail area of Great Lakes Boulevard and Creek Path Avenue in Oakville has tested positive for rabies. This is the first confirmed case of animal rabies in Halton region this year. Residents who may have had physical contact with a bat in this area are advised to contact the Halton Region Public Health by calling 311.
“Halton Region Public Health is reminding residents to avoid all contact with bats and other wild animals,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Anyone who comes in physical contact with a bat or other wild animal should seek medical attention immediately and contact Halton Region Public Health.”
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, usually entering through a bite or scratch. Rabies illness in humans can be prevented by the use of a 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.
There are a number of things you can do to protect your family and pets:
- Seek medical attention immediately if you come in contact with a raccoon, skunk, bat or other potentially rabid animal.
- Report all animal bites or scratches to Halton Region Public Health.
- Warn your children to stay away from any wild, stray or aggressive animals.
- Do not feed or keep wild animals as pets.
- Do not touch dead or sick animals.
- Make sure your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up to date.
- Keep your pet on a leash when off your property.
- Have your pet 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 contact Halton Region Public Health by calling 311.
The Regional Municipality of Halton serves 580,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.