Fraser Health urges people who touched injured bat in Belcarra to seek medical help

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Fraser Health says a group of nine people were handling an injured bat on Saturday evening at White Pine Beach in Port Moody. The agency is urging those people to seek medical attention. Image shows a roost of brown bats in B.C.   (Community Bat Program of B.C./G. Hucul - image credit)
Fraser Health says a group of nine people were handling an injured bat on Saturday evening at White Pine Beach in Port Moody. The agency is urging those people to seek medical attention. Image shows a roost of brown bats in B.C. (Community Bat Program of B.C./G. Hucul - image credit)

Fraser Health is urging anyone who was in direct contact with a bat at White Pine Beach in Belcarra Regional Park in Port Moody on Saturday evening to seek medical attention immediately.

According to a written statement on Sunday, a group of about nine people were handling an injured bat on park's floating dock at around 7:45 p.m. on July 3.

Health authority officials are asking those nine people to go to the nearest hospital to be assessed for possible rabies.

"In British Columbia ... the prevalence of rabies among bats is low [but] the health risks of rabies are severe," the agency stated.

Rabies is preventable through vaccination, the statement said, but it is important to seek care as soon as possible after being exposed for treatment to be effective.

The agency is also reminding the public to take precautions when it comes to animal exposures this summer and to avoid touching or feeding wild animals, including bats.

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