A bat, found on Keating Elementary School property last week, has tested positive for the rabies virus states a letter sent to parents and staff of the school on Monday from Island Health’s medical health officer, Dee Hoyano.
According to the letter, Island Health Communicable Diseases assessed a number of people who may have come in direct contact with the bat, either touching or handling the animal. Those who were found to be at risk of exposure were given a preventative vaccine against rabies.
The bat was found near the Central Saanich school’s out-of-school care portable, after school hours. The area is currently out of bounds and will not be used during school hours.
Island Health states they believe it is unlikely that children attending the school would have had contact with the animal during school hours.
If any child or adult that may have had direct contact with a bat on the school grounds is asked to call the Island Health Communicable Disease program immediately at 1-866-665-6626. Island Health emphasized seeing or being near the bat is not direct exposure and isn’t a risk for rabies.
Island Health noted parents should remind children to never interact directly with or disturb wildlife, including bats, adding if children find an animal that appears to be ill or dead they should tell a teacher or other responsible adult.
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