SIMCOE, May 12, 2016 – The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) was notified yesterday by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry that another raccoon from Haldimand County has tested positive for rabies. The raccoon, found on the outskirts of York near the Hamilton border, was tested as part of the ongoing efforts to manage the re-emergence of the raccoon rabies strain that was detected in Ontario late last year. This brings the total to five raccoons testing positive for rabies in Haldimand County since December of 2015. Fortunately, there was no human contact with the rabies positive raccoons in all five instances.
As the threat of rabies continues to linger in the area, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is reminding the public to ensure that their pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccination. “The success of this campaign relies on both the agencies involved and the public. We’d like to thank all those involved in this response including members of the public who have ensured that their animal’s rabies vaccination is up-to-date and those who have reported wildlife acting oddly” stated Kris Lutzi, Acting Program Manager for the Environmental Health Team at the HNHU. “Everyone’s continued vigilance will be needed to minimize the spread of this virus” added Lutzi. Persons in Haldimand and Norfolk wanting to report wildlife (e.g. raccoons, skunks, foxes, etc.) exhibiting abnormal behaviour should contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Rabies Information Line at 1-888-574-6656 or their local animal control. If, however, the animal was involved in a bite, scratch or any other contact that might result in transmission of rabies to a person, the incident should be reported to the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit at 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623. Incidents only involving domestic pets being exposed to potentially rabid animals should be reported to your local vet and/or the Ontario Ministry of Farms and Rural Affairs’ Agricultural Information contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.
For more information on rabies visit https://hnhu.org/health-topic/rabies/
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Acting Program Manager
Environmental Health Team
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
519-426-6170 ext. 3261