Second bat found at Greater Victoria elementary school tests positive for rabies

Island Health confirms second rabies case, this time in Saanich

For the second time this month a bat with rabies has been found on elementary school grounds in Greater Victoria.

Island Health has confirmed the latest bat, which was deceased at the time it was found at Frank Hobbs Elementary School in Saanich, tested positive for rabies.

Cheryl Bloxham, spokesperson for Island Health, noted Island Health isn’t aware of anyone who came into direct, unprotected contact with the bat. However, if anyone did come into contact with the dead bat, they are being asked to call the Island Health Communicable Disease program immediately at 1-866-665-6626.

RELATED: Bat found at Keating Elementary School tests positive for rabies

Island Health is also asking parents to remind children that they should never interact directly with or disturb wildlife, including bats. Children should not touch, poke or pick up any bat they may come across.

Earlier this month, a bat found at Keating Elementary School in Central Saanich also tested positive for rabies. According to a letter sent out to parents from Island Health, a number of people who may have come in direct contact with the bat were assessed. Those found to be at risk of exposure were given a preventative vaccine.

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

Island Health’s medical health officer Dee 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.

In July, a B.C. man died from rabies after coming into contact with the bat six weeks earlier. His infection is the first case of human rabies in the province since 2003 and one of only 24 known cases in Canada since the 1920s – the most recent in Ontario in 2012 and Alberta in 2007.

With files from Nina Grossman



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

In Our Valley: Murray Minchin

Murray Minchin and his wife, Kathy, spent six months sea kayaking along the B.C. coast

Minor parties scramble to get candidates nominated for Stikine

Taylor wants to be Christian Heritage Party candidate, Repen makes bid to represent Rural BC Party

District at conceptual stages for downtown Kitimat revitalization project

A virtual open house will be held Thursday (Sept. 24) evening

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Most Read