Health Unit Reminds Public about Danger of Rabies

April 30, 2014

Huron County, ON – The Huron County Health Unit is reminding residents about the danger of rabies. Public Health Inspector Patrick Landry says people need to remember that rabies is an almost always fatal disease that is preventable.

Rabies is a disease spread by the bite or scratch of an infected animal. It attacks the brain and spinal cord of warm-blooded animals, including humans. Once symptoms appear, rabies is almost always fatal.

Public Health Inspector Patrick Landry says although Huron County hasn’t had rabies in the wildlife population for a few years, we can’t rule out the potential threat of rabies. “Animals most likely to transmit rabies in Huron County are skunks, raccoons, bats, and foxes. But people should remember that any wild mammal can transmit the disease if it carries the virus.”

Rabies is entirely preventable. You can reduce your risk of rabies by:

  • avoiding contact with unfamiliar domestic animals and all wild animals, especially when the animal is obviously ill, acting strangely or is found dead;
  • avoiding feeding unfamiliar domestic animals and all wild animals;
  • not allowing pets to run loose outdoors;
  • keeping your pet’s rabies vaccination up-to-date;

Landry recommends if you or a family member is bitten or scratched by any animal, immediately wash the wound well with soap and water, and then contact your doctor. The incident must be reported to the health unit for investigation and assessment of the risk for rabies. Based on that assessment, post-exposure rabies immunization may be recommended or the animal may be observed for signs of the disease.

Landry emphasizes that a very effective way to protect you and your family from the virus is to vaccinate your pets against rabies. Rabies vaccination is mandatory for cats, dogs and some classes of horses in Huron County. Owners can be fined if they do not vaccinate.

Each year the government of Ontario designates May as Rabies Awareness Month. For more information about rabies call the Huron County Health Unit at 519-482-3416 or visit


Creating Healthy Communities Together

Our media contact is: Barbara Leavitt, Communications Co-ordinator, Huron County Health Unit, 519-482-3416 or toll-free 1-877-837-6143

Our spokesperson is: Patrick Landry, Public Health Inspector


For more information contact:

Susan Cronin, County Clerk
519.524.8394 (ext 3257)