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

Chemainus animal sanctuary needs your vote in nationwide contest

RASTA is up for $5,000 from Nutram; contest runs until May 31

Heartfelt memories of Derek Descoteau four years later

Victim of Chemainus murder and his brother leave a huge impact on a large group of friends

Ladysmith PRC restarts registered programming June 1

The programming will feature a mix of live Zoom classes, and outdoor in-person classes

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Chemainus family pledges $50,000 to Chemainus Theatre Crisis Relief Fund

The Hilton family pledged $50,000 toward a matched fund. If fully matched, it will raise $100,000

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read