Be Bat aware

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As more people head outdoors across Interior Health, it is likely they may encounter bats. Bats can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. This PSA provides tips on how to avoid bat exposures and when to seek health advice.

In B.C., between four and eight per cent of bats that come into contact with people test positive for the rabies virus. In 2021, 132 people in the region were treated for potential exposure to rabies.

Treatment, which involves a two-week long period of vaccinations, should be administered as soon as possible after exposure. Without treatment, rabies is almost always fatal.

It is very important that people avoid handling bats with their bare hands to prevent bites or scratches. This is particularly important for children, who tend to find bats on the ground and play with them. Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by a bat should seek medical attention immediately.