Algoma Public Health
Bat tests positive for rabies virus in Sault Ste. Marie
Fri, Jul 13, 2018
A bat found dead in the Elgin St. and Wellington St. E. area in Sault Ste. Marie tested positive for rabies on July 13th, 2018. The bat was submitted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on July 12th, 2018 after been found with no evidence of trauma.
Algoma Public Health is offering the public the following information on bats and rabies.
People may become infected with rabies when bitten or scratched by a rabid animal when saliva comes into contact with broken skin or moist tissues of the mouth, nose or eyes. The rabies virus is considered fatal once symptoms appear in mammals and humans. The virus could take days, weeks, or months to start symptoms depending on the type of exposure and location.
“If you are bitten or scratched by a bat, wild animal or domestic animal including pets, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and consult a health care provider,” says Gary Leith, public health inspector at Algoma Public Health. “If you find a bat in your home and may have been bitten, seek medical attention.”
If you think your pet or domestic animal has been bitten by a bat, contact a veterinarian and remember to keep vaccinations current for cats, dogs, and other animals.
Do not touch or handle dead or dying animals—particularly bats. If animals must be handled, use puncture resistant gloves and a shovel to place the animal in a container or plastic bag. Contact Algoma Public Health to request rabies testing on animals that died of unusual activity.
Learn more about the rabies virus and animal bites.