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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sexual assault stories from treeplanting camps ‘shocking but not surprising’

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Rotary raffle underway for Phoenix school equipment program

The proceeds from the raffle will go to purchase new equipment for school kids to use at the hill

Interior Health leading the way with innovative therapy for stroke patients

Percentage of ischemic stroke patients who received treatment has risen dramatically

Indigenous daycare prepares to welcome learners in Grand Forks

Talking Little Feet Aboriginal Head Start is set to open next month

Phoenix Foundation report highlights funding priorities in Boundary

Boundary organizations can begin applying for Phoenix Foundation grants on March 1

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Most Read