Stay alert and watch for bats this May long weekend - InfoNews

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Stay alert and watch for bats this May long weekend

FILE PHOTO - Valerie Wilson found this bat in the Thompson River near Kamloops Aug. 8, 2016. Tests revealed it had rabies.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Valerie Wilson
May 21, 2017 - 10:30 AM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – As most of the province heads out to the woods for May long weekend, health authorities are warning everyone to keep an eye in the sky for bats.

Live and dead bats are the primary carrier of rabies in B.C. and is almost always fatal if untreated, according to a release from Interior Health.

Unexpected bat encounters will probably happen for people spending time in the forest, so Interior Health has offered up some tips for anyone spending time in the great outdoors.

It’s important to never touch bats, alive or dead. Try to make areas bat proof by keeping doors and windows closed and keeping vents properly screened. If a live bat makes its way inside, open a window and close interior doors until the bat flies out. Do not venture into areas like caves where bats are known to live. Always make sure pets are vaccinated for the virus.

Authorities say to take all bat encounters seriously and that even a tiny bite that isn’t visible is dangerous, according to the release.

If you do come in contact with a bat, wash the wounds with soapy water and contact a doctor right away.

The treatment for bat exposure is a two-week series of shots that should be given as soon as possible.

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