Life / Health

Bat tests positive for rabies virus in York Region: health officials

NEWMARKET, Ont. — Health officials say a bat has tested positive for the rabies virus in Richmond Hill, Ont. — the first confirmed rabies case in York Region this year.

The rabies virus affects the central nervous system of warm-blooded mammals, including humans, and is transmitted through a bite, lick or scratch from an infected animal.

Most reported cases involve wild animals such as bats, foxes, raccoons and skunks, but dogs and cats are also at risk.

The percentage of rabies-infected bats in Ontario is considered low, but people are being advised to avoid approaching or coming into contact with bats.

Infection with the rabies virus is usually fatal.

A post-exposure vaccine is available for people who come into contact with a rabid animal.

 

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