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News Release: August 1, 2019

Residents should stay vigilant around wild animals to protect against rabies

First confirmed case of rabies in Peel this year found in bat

Brampton, ON (August 1, 2019) – The Region of Peel - Public Health has received test results confirming that a bat found in Brampton had rabies. This is the first confirmed case of rabies in 2019 for an animal tested in Peel Region.

Rabies is a viral disease that, in humans, can cause severe damage to the brain and spinal cord. If it is left untreated before symptoms appear, rabies will lead to death. The rabies virus is spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually entering through a bite or scratch.

“Transmission of rabies by bats to humans is rare,” states Dr. Jessica Hopkins, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel. “However, residents who may have had physical contact with a bat should see a physician immediately to be assessed.”

Transmission can be prevented after exposure by immunization with the rabies vaccine. The vaccine is extremely effective but must be administered before symptoms appear.

It is not always possible to identify if a bat or other animal has rabies. However rabid animals may move slowly and be unresponsive to loud noises. Bats may lose the ability to fly and remain active during daylight hours.

There are several things you can do to protect your family and pets:

For more information on rabies or to report an animal bite or scratch, call the Peel Regional Health Department by calling 905-799-7700. Visit peelregion.ca for more information.

The Region of Peel works with residents and partners to create a healthy, safe and connected Community for Life for more than 1.5 million people and 175,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. Peel's services touch the lives of residents every day. Recognized as a leader in management and service delivery, the Region of Peel is the only government organization at any level to receive Excellence Canada's Platinum Award for Excellence, Innovation and Wellness®. For more information about the Region of Peel, explore peelregion.ca and follow us on Twitter at @regionofpeel.

Media Contacts

Jeffrey LeMoine
Communications Specialist
Region of Peel, Public Health
289-325-4700