The B.C. Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of rabies in B.C. since 2003. A man died from the infection after coming into contact with a bat on Vancouver Island in mid-May. (File Photo)

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

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

A B.C. man has died from a viral rabies infection after coming into contact with a bat on Vancouver Island in May.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed the rare case of rabies in a press release from the B.C. Ministry of Health. The man, whose identity was not released, came into contact with the bat in mid-May and developed symptoms “compatible with rabies six weeks later.”

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.

“While the exposure in this case was on Vancouver Island, bats in all areas of B.C. are known to carry rabies,” the Ministry stated. “Family members, close community contacts and health-care workers who cared for this person are being assessed and given post-exposure rabies preventive measures, if needed.”

READ ALSO: Rabies vaccine snub worries B.C. mom

READ ALSO: Public’s help needed in tracking bat activity

The Ministry asks that anyone who comes in contact with a bat immediately wash the area with soap and water, even if there is no obvious bite or scratch, and consult a health-care provider or local public health public health department immediately where a vaccine to prevent infection may be provided.

About 13 per cent of B.C. bats tested in B.C. came back positive for rabies, the Ministry said.

“This presents an ongoing risk for people and for companion animals, such as cats and dogs. It is important to ensure pets’ rabies vaccinations are up to date. If you believe your pet has had contact with a bat, consult your veterinarian.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension allowing up to five days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Fanny’s Lot: gunshots, drug deals, fires and machetes

Fanny Bay residents fed up with problems tied to neighbourhood house, want action taken

VIDEO: Rescued eagle released back into the North Island

The three-year-old female found mired in grease at Mount Waddington landfill recovered with gusto

34 years later, Vancouver Island woman reunited with prized bicycle

Serendipity: Cumberland resident reclaims prized possession from childhood

Editorial: Pointing lasers at aircraft despicable act

The consequences of those actions can be extremely serious

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Tribal council president named as VIU’s next chancellor

Judith Sayers accepts leadership role at Nanaimo university

Victoria police seize replica handgun and bullets

Unrelated call leads police to functional replica

More charges laid against man accused of killing Red Deer doctor in walk-in clinic

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Presenting the West Shore’s 10 worst intersections for crashes in 2019

Millstream Road, Veterans Memorial Parkway area continues to be a hotspot

Colwood construction site break-in leads police to narcotics, prohibited weapons

33-year-old man charged with break and enter, weapons offences and possession of a controlled substance

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

Most Read