York Region confirms first 2024 case of rabies after infected bat found in Whitchurch-Stouffville

York Region confirms first 2024 case of rabies after infected bat found in Whitchurch-Stouffville

York Region has confirmed its first case of rabies in 2024 after an infected bat was found in Whitchurch-Stouffville.

According to officials, the bat was discovered in a residential area and was immediately sent for testing. The results came back positive for rabies, making it the first confirmed case in the region this year.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system of mammals, including humans. It is most commonly transmitted through the bite of an infected animal, such as a bat, raccoon, skunk, or fox.

The discovery of this infected bat serves as a reminder for residents to take precautions when encountering wild animals. It is important to avoid contact with any unfamiliar or sick-looking animals and to ensure that pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.

In addition, residents are advised to report any sightings of potentially rabid animals to their local animal control or public health agency.

Symptoms of rabies in animals can include unusual behavior, difficulty walking, and excessive drooling. In humans, symptoms can include fever, headache, and muscle weakness, which can progress to more serious symptoms such as hallucinations and paralysis.

If you or your pet have been bitten or scratched by a wild animal, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Rabies is a serious and potentially fatal disease, but it can be prevented through prompt medical treatment.

York Region Public Health is working closely with local authorities to monitor the situation and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of rabies. They are also reminding residents to stay vigilant and report any potential cases.

For more information on rabies and how to protect yourself and your pets, please visit the York Region Public Health website or contact your local animal control agency. Let’s work together to keep our community safe from rabies.

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