What is rabies?
Rabies is a viral infection of animals that can be transmitted to humans. It is caused by a virus, which attacks the central nervous system and eventually affects the brain. The virus is usually found in the saliva of an infected animal. Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms occur. Rabies can occur in any warm-blooded animal, domestic and wild- commonly, dogs, cats, foxes, raccoons, skunks, wolves and bats. Animals having potential interactions with people such as cattle and horses can acquire rabies and may transmit the disease to humans.
To prevent rabies:
If you have been bitten by an animal:
The PHU will continue to work with pet owners and local vets to protect the public and other animals from the spread of rabies. It is important animal owners work with the health unit to protect the public and other animals from the potential spread of the rabies virus.
Health professionals are responsible to report animal incidents to their local health units. Animal incidents can be reported by calling the Porcupine Health Unit at 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818 where someone can be reached 24 hours a day.
The Porcupine Health Unit is asking pet owners to ensure their pet’s rabies vaccinations are up to date. As of July 1, 2018, rabies vaccination has become mandatory in the Province of Ontario under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA). These changes include the following:
Rabies vaccinations for your pets need to be updated every 1 to 3 years depending on the vaccine product given. The Porcupine Health Unit will be giving animal owners sufficient time to comply with this new regulation. Contact your veterinarian for more information or to inquire if your pet’s vaccinations are up to date.