Bat at Belwood Lake tests positive for rabies with suspected human exposure

August 31, 2018: On Tuesday, August 28 a bat dove into the quarry swimming area at Belwood Lake around 2:30 p.m. Some swimmers tried to rescue the bat which was retrieved by Grand River Conservation Authority staff. The bat has tested positive for rabies.

Any swimmers who may have physically contacted the bat could have been exposed to rabies. Anyone in direct contact with the bat needs to contact their health care provider or go to the nearest emergency department.

Anyone with any information about this incident is also encouraged to contact Public Health.

Rabies is a fatal virus that affects mammals, including humans, and is most commonly spread by wild animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats. Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite.

Two skunks have tested positive for rabies in the Elora area this summer and two bats were confirmed with rabies in Guelph; one in 2017 and one in 2018. This is a reminder to stay away from all wildlife, including bats, raccoons, foxes and stray cats and dogs. If you suspect an animal has rabies do not go near it. Contact your local animal control service or the police.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, or have been in contact with a suspicious animal, report the incident to WDG Public Health at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4753. After hours, on weekends and holidays, call 1-877-884-8653.

For more information about rabies, visit

Media Contact

Chuck Ferguson
Manager, Communications
1-800-265-7293 ext. 4374