Rabid bat found in Dutton Dunwich

Southwestern Public Health announced Friday, June 21, that a bat from Dutton Dunwich had tested positive for rabies.

The bat was sent for testing after two individuals were potentially exposed to its saliva. The health unit stated they were receiving treatment to prevent them from contracting the virus.

The bat had been found inside a house, and the health unit, unable to rule out the two residents being exposed to its saliva, had ordered treatments as a precaution.

SWPH also said, “Rabies is a viral disease that is spread through the saliva of an infected animal. It affects an animal’s brain and eventually leads to death.

“Although the risk of rabies is extremely low, humans exposed to the virus – usually through a bite or scratch from an infected animal – require treatment to avoid death.

“A positive rabies test result serves as a reminder to all community members that rabies is present in our region, and everyone should know what to do if bitten or scratched by a wild or domestic animal.”

Environmental Health Program Manager Amy Pavletic said, “If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal, the first step is to wash the wound right away with soap and water.

“The second step is to seek medical attention. The third step is to report all animal bites to your local public health unit so that we can investigate and assess the risk of rabies transmission.”


against rabies

–Vaccinate your pet against the rabies virus;

–Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date;

–Keep pets indoors at night;

–Touch base with your vet if you see any potential wounds on your pet from a fight with wild animals;

–Teach children to stay away from wild animals and strange dogs and cats;

–Always ask permission before trying to pet an animal;

–Supervise children around animals;

–Do not attempt to touch or feed wild animals;

–Do not touch sick animals;

–Do not approach animals behaving oddly or aggressively;

–And be familiar with the signs of rabies in your pets and wild animals.

Community members are also reminded to never handle a bat directly. If you have a bat in your home or have questions about getting rid of a bat in a dwelling, please contact a local wildlife rescue.