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An exodus of bats leaves Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico.DR. NICK HRISTOV/The Associated Press

Health officials say a bat that bit a person in southern Alberta has tested positive for rabies.

Medical health officer Dr. Vivien Suttorp says the person was bitten while trying to break up a fight between the bat and a cat in Lethbridge.

Suttorp says the person was given an anti-rabies vaccine.

She says it's the first positive rabies test in bats in the Lethbridge area in many, many years.

The doctor is advising people to immunize their pets and to stay away from wild animals.

Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals, including humans.

"Stay away from wild animals. Don't handle wild animals or dead animals," Suttorp said Thursday.