Fraser Health is urging anyone who came into contact with with an injured bat at White Pine Beach in Belcarra on Saturday (July 3) to head to the hospital immediately for a rabies assessment.
The health authority said it was made aware of an incident where about nine people handled an injured bat on the floating dock portion of the park at about 7:45 p.m.
“As a precaution, Fraser Health Public Health is advising all of these people who were in contact with the bat yesterday to present to their nearest hospital emergency department and be assessed for possible rabies exposure,” the health authority said.
Bats are the only natural reservoir of rabies in B.C. While less than one per cent of bats are considered carriers of the disease, the health risks of rabies are severe and preventable only with the vaccine, ideally as soon as possible after exposure.
Individuals are asked to stay away from wild animals, including bats, as the weather warms. Anyone who comes across an injured bat or other animal is asked to call the BC SPCA Provincial Call Centre at 1-855-622-7722.