09 March 2016

Raccoon Rabies Found in More Ontario Skunks and Raccoons

For the first time in over a decade, a raccoon tested positive for rabies in Ontario last December.

Since 2005, Ontario had successfully kept rabid raccoons from entering the province by using bait with rabies vaccines along areas where they often crossed over from the U.S.

It’s believed the infected animal rode into the province on the back of a tractor trailer.

"I was really disappointed," Chris Davies, the province's top wildlife researcher who's been credited with keeping the virus outside of Ontario's borders for more than a decade, told CBC. "We knew if we found one, we'd find more."

More infected animals have been discovered - a total of 58 to date - and the baiting program was stepped up with hundreds of thousands of the tasty vaccines being dropped by hand, helicopter and airplane.

The government of Ontario is keeping citizens apprised of reported rabies cases and general rabies information on their website. This week reporting 12 new cases - 10 skunks and two raccoons.

All mammals are susceptible to rabies, which is usually passed through a bite and infected saliva. The best way to protect your pet is to ensure vaccinations are up to date.

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