Huron County, ON – The Huron County Health Unit encourages residents to help prevent rabies.
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.
“A very effective way to protect you and your family from the virus is to vaccinate your pets against rabies,” says Public Health Inspector Patrick Landry. “Rabies vaccination is mandatory for cats and dogs three months of age and older, as well as mandatory for some classes of horses in Huron County.” Owners can be fined if they do not vaccinate their animals.
The animals most likely to transmit rabies in Huron County are bats, skunks, raccoons, and foxes. Landry reminds residents, however, that any 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 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
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 prophylaxis may be recommended or the animal may be observed for signs of the disease.
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 www.huronhealthunit.ca.
Our media contact is: Rita Marshall, communications coordinator, Huron County Health Unit, 519.482.3416 or toll-free 1.877.837.6143 ext. 2023 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our spokesperson is: Patrick Landry, Public Health Inspector. Our media contact will connect you with the spokesperson on this topic.