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Toronto Public Health seeks person who dropped off bat at animal hospital after it tested positive for rabies

Toronto Public Health (TPH) officials are searching for the person who dropped off a bat at an veterinary hospital in The Beaches earlier this week after the animal tested positive for rabies.

In a news release on Friday, TPH said the bat was taken to the VCA Kew Beach Animal Hospital on Queen Street East on Tuesday at around 6 p.m.

“If you are the person who dropped off this bat or know the person who dropped it off, please call TPH after hours at 311 (416-392-2489 if outside of Toronto) and ask to speak to the Healthy Environments manager on call,” the local health unit said. 

“They can assess the risk of being infected with rabies from this exposure.”

TPH said rabies affects the nervous system, and if left untreated before symptoms appear, it could lead to death. The rabies virus is spread through an infected animal’s saliva, usually through a bite or a scratch.

“The overall risk of being exposed to rabies in the city is very low, unless direct contact was made with an infected animal’s saliva,” TPH said.

The most recent human case of rabies in Ontario was reported in 2012. Last year, four big brown bats found in Toronto tested positive for rabies.

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