This is a very rare disease in British Columbia but rabies is endemic (meaning it occurs regularly) in British Columbia in bats.  It also occurred in two skunks in Vancouver’s Stanley Park in 2004. Therefore, any animal that catches a bat and any animal (or person) that is bitten by a bat or is exposed to a bat while sleeping, should seek medical attention immediately. Any animal (regardless of whether or not it has been vaccinated) that develops acute neurological disease after exposure to bats should be considered a rabies suspect until proven otherwise. Rabies causes a uniformly fatal encephalitis and this is the only type of encephalitis that can be transmitted easily from animals to people.

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