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Rabies Found in Regina Bat – Safety Reminders for People and Pets

14-Jul-2016

The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region is advising residents that one bat in Regina has recently tested positive for rabies. This is an important reminder that residents need to be aware of how rabies is spread, and how you can protect your families and pets from rabies exposure.

A bat found in a backyard at a home in the Cathedral area in the City of Regina this week has tested positive for rabies. Since 2009, two other bats in the city that were submitted for testing were found positive for rabies.

Rabies can occur in mammals, including bats, skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes and other mammals.

Rabies is spread through the saliva of an infected animal, most commonly through a bite or exposure of broken skin to the infected saliva. It can also spread through contact between infected animals and unvaccinated dogs, cats and livestock such as goats, sheep, cattle and horses.

Rabies should be considered in animals showing abnormal behaviour such as increased aggressiveness and/or being unnaturally tame.

Bats that show signs of illness such as abnormal movement, loss of ability to fly or lying on the ground should also be considered potentially rabid.

To protect your family and pets:
  • Avoid direct contact with wild animals as well as potentially rabid animals.
  • Avoid contact with bats, wild animals and animals that show abnormal behavior.
  • Ensure your pets’ vaccination against rabies and other diseases are up to date.
  • Bat proof your home with screens, as well as ensuring there are no other entry points for bats.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you have an animal bite from a wild animal or a domestic animal or pet if you are not certain their rabies vaccinations are up to date.
  • If you have a bat encounter, seek advice by calling Public Health Services at 306-766-7755, or call HealthLine at 811.
Rabies is 100% fatal in humans and animals. The disease can be prevented by giving vaccine and treatment as soon as possible after exposure through a bite or saliva of a suspected or confirmed positive animal.

For more information on rabies, please see RQHR’s rabies fact sheet
For More Information:
Jenna Webb
Interim Director, Corporate Communications and Medical Media Services
RQHR Communications
Email: jenna.webb@rqhealth.ca
Phone: 306-766-0856