The first animal case of rabies in Oxford County in over five years has been discovered in a bat.
On Tuesday, August 30, a resident in Woodstock discovered a bat that appeared to be injured on the property. The resident was bitten by the bat when an attempt was made to remove it. The bat subsequently tested positive for rabies on Friday, September 2.
The resident is undergoing rabies preventative treatment. It is important for residents to always seek medical attention if they are bitten by a bat, or any animal.
The case should also be a reminder to residents to always supervise pets outdoors, vaccinate pets against rabies, and avoid contact with wildlife.
Rabies has emerged in the raccoon and skunk population in recent months in the Hamilton and Brant County areas with 162 confirmed cases this year (to the end of July). Previously, raccoon strain rabies had not been seen in Ontario for more than a decade. Additionally, two cases of fox rabies have recently been identified in Perth County. Although the risk to the general public is low, ensuring your pets have up to date vaccinations is always a good idea.
Rabies is an infectious and contagious disease of the central nervous system. If left untreated, it is fatal.
Low cost vaccination clinics
To help prevent the spread of rabies, Oxford County Public Health and local veterinarians are once again teaming up to host low-cost rabies vaccination clinics across Oxford County on Saturday, September, 24. The cost is $20 per pet and payments must be in cash. Clinic times and locations can be found online.
Please note: these clinics are not a substitute for regular veterinary care including physical examinations and other recommended vaccinations. Check with a local veterinarian for more information.
Pets attending one of the clinics must be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older to be vaccinated.
For more information please visit the following link