June 1, 2018: Public Health has been informed that a skunk found in the Elora area has tested positive for rabies. There was no human contact with the skunk.
In response to the positive case, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has distributed oral rabies bait in the area. Previously, two cases of rabies were confirmed in local bats; one in 2017 and one in 2018. Both were in Guelph.
This is a reminder to stay away from all wildlife, including bats, raccoons, foxes and stray cats and dogs. Pet owners should also vaccinate their dogs and cats for rabies.
Rabies is a fatal virus that affects mammals, including humans, and is most commonly spread by wild animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats. Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite. However, saliva can also enter the body through scratches, open wounds or mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and eyes.
“Exposure to rabies is fatal. Make sure your pets are vaccinated and know how to protect yourself and your family,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “If you think your pet may have been bitten or scratched by another animal, contact your veterinarian immediately. If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to rabies, contact your physician immediately or go to a hospital emergency department.”
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, or have been in contact with a suspicious animal, report the incident to WDG Public Health at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4753. After hours, on weekends and holidays, call 1-877-884-8653.
If you suspect a wild animal has rabies do not go near it. Contact your local animal control service or the police.
For more information about rabies, visit wdgpublichealth.ca/rabies.
Jill Davies, Communications Specialist
1-800-265-7293 ext. 4376