Sep 14, 2012- 3:07 PM
The bat was found dead at a home in Little Current on Sept. 3.
While bats are very helpful in keeping insect populations in check, it is important to be aware of a few simple precautions to protect yourself against rabies, said the Health Unit.
If left untreated, rabies is fatal in humans. People can become infected with rabies when they are bitten or scratched by a rabid bat or when a rabid bat’s saliva comes into contact with broken skin or moist tissues in the mouth, nose, or eyes.
Rabid bats are rarely aggressive. A bat may be rabid if it is active by day, if it is found in a place where bats are not usually seen, or if it is unable to fly. These bats are often easily approached, but should never be touched.
A bat has sharp, needle-like teeth that may cause a relatively painless, unnoticeable bite. If you are bitten or scratched by a bat, or if saliva from a bat gets into your eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and consult a health care provider.
“We strongly encourage anyone who is bitten or scratched by animals to consult a health-care provider and to report the incident to the Health Unit as soon as possible,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Sudbury and District Medical Officer of Health.
The Health Unit is also reminding cat and dog owners of the requirement to keep their pet’s rabies vaccinations up to date.
For more information on bats and rabies, call the Sudbury and District Health Unit at 705-522-9200, ext. 398, toll free at 1-866-522-9200, or visit www.sdhu.com. For help with bat-proofing, contact a pest management company.