A bat, found at Keating Elementary School last week, has tested positive for the rabies virus. (File photo)

Bat found at Greater Victoria elementary school tests positive for rabies

Island Health issues warning to parents, vaccine to anyone at risk of exposure

A bat, found on Keating Elementary School property last week, has tested positive for the rabies virus.

Island Health’s medical health officer Dee Hoyano sent a letter to parents and staff of the school on Monday.

According to the letter, Island Health Communicable Diseases assessed a number of people who may have come in direct contact with the bat, either touching or handling the animal. Those who were found to be at risk of exposure were given a preventative vaccine against rabies.

READ ALSO: Bat from Denman Island tests positive for rabies

The bat was found near the out of school care portable, after school hours. The area is currently out of bounds and will not be used during school hours.

Island Health states they believe it is unlikely that children attending the school would have had contact with the animal during school hours.

READ ALSO: B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Any child or adult that may have had direct contact with a bat on the school grounds is asked to call the Island Health Communicable Disease program immediately at 1-866-665-6626. Island Health emphasized seeing or being near the bat is not direct exposure and isn’t a risk for rabies.

Island Health notes parents should remind children to never interact directly with or disturb wildlife, including bats, adding if children find an animal that appears to be ill or dead they should tell a teacher or other responsible adult.

Hoyana says among the large number of people reporting bat exposures this summer, a high number of those could have been prevented if people had simply avoided touching the bat.

She recommends wearing protective layers, especially head protection, if you go out at night or around dusk when bats are out, also staying in better lit and open areas.

Only .5 per cent of bats in the province are thought to be infected with rabies. In B.C. 13 per cent of the bats submitted for testing have been found positive for rabies, the number may seem high but most bats that are submitted for testing usually are already displaying signs of illness or unusual behaviour.

The Island has submitted 40 bats to be tested this season and only two were positive for rabies.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Missing Abbotsford man may be in in the region: RCMP

Cranbrook RCMP is asking the public to keep an eye out for… Continue reading

Cranbrook snowfall shouldn’t accumulate for long

A brief weather system has brought some snow with it into Cranbrook… Continue reading

White Tiger Taekwondo students earn accolades at Kalispell event

White Tiger Taekwondo recently returned with a third place team finish at… Continue reading

Driver promoted to Cranbrook fire chief

Longtime deputy director of operations steps up to lead Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services

VIDEO: Canadian allergists’ group wants Benadryl behind the counter due to side effects

Some doctors say the medication is over-used because of its easy availability

B.C. forest industry trade mission finding new markets in China

Diplomatic tensions eased, minister Doug Donaldson says

Sex assault charge stayed against Port Moody mayor

Rob Vagramov completed an alternative measures program, special prosecutor said

“I thought, enough is enough”: B.C. teen takes on bullies through social media

‘I thought, enough is enough. I wanted to try something to stop it.’

Audit finds Canada’s fisheries in decline and response lacks urgency

Report says 17 per cent of fish stocks are critically depleted, up from 13.4 per cent in 2018

Small group of Cherry fans protest his firing at Rogers HQ

One sign at the Toronto rally: ‘Rogers cancels Don, we cancel Rogers’

Nearly half of B.C. drivers nervous in winter conditions: BCAA

‘Wait and see’ approach common practice for 32% of B.C. motorists

Autism support dog refused bus access for being a ‘pet’

B.C. grandmother files complaint with TransLink, calls for better awareness of service dogs

Students plan rally at B.C. education minister’s office as district strike enters third week

Saanich School District students plan to rally outside Rob Fleming’s constituency office in Victoria

Most Read