SIMCOE, August 12, 2016 – The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) was notified yesterday by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry that two raccoons from the Dunnville area have tested positive for rabies. With the addition of Dunnville, many areas of Haldimand County including Caledonia, Hagersville, Cayuga and York have now found raccoons with rabies. Fortunately, all ten cases in Haldimand have not involved human contact.
To reduce the risk and limit the spread of rabies in the community, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is asking the public to take the following preventative measures:
- Ensure your pet’s rabies vaccination is up to date. It’s the law.
- Stay away from and do not touch unfamiliar animals, or animals acting strangely.
- Stay away from wild animals and do not feed them.
- Prevent pets from coming into contact with wildlife.
- Supervise children when they are around animals. Accidents do happen.
- Do not let pets roam free.
- Feed pets indoors. Feeding pets outdoors can attract other unwanted animals.
- Keep garbage securely covered.
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