Rabies detected in Waterloo Region0
A fox located in the Wallenstein area has tested positive for rabies, and local health officials are warning local residents to be vigilant for any signs of the virus.
Rabies is almost always fatal. The virus can be carried in the saliva of infected mammals, such as dogs, cats, foxes, skunks, raccoons and bats. It is normally spread to humans (or other mammals) through a bite, scratch, cut or contact with the moist tissues of the mouth, nose and eyes. It’s important that residents make sure their dogs and cats, even barn cats, are up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is following up to confirm no other domestic or farm animals were exposed. Public Health is investigating as to whether there has been any potential human exposure. So far, it is believed there was no human contact with the fox.
To protect your family and your pets from rabies:
· Keep pets up-to-date with their rabies vaccination. In Ontario, it’s the law that all cats and dogs over three months of age be vaccinated against rabies
· Teach children to stay away from wild animals, dogs and cats they don’t know or animals that are acting strangely. A strange acting animal could be a sign that it is sick
· Talk to your veterinarian about vaccinating your livestock against rabies
· Keep pets away from wildlife. Don’t let your pets run free in the neighborhood and keep them indoors at night
· Don’t feed, transport or relocate wildlife.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, wash the area thoroughly with soapy water, seek medical advice immediately, and then contact Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575-4400.
If your pets or livestock have had contact with a wild animal, such as a bat, skunk, fox or raccoon, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Veterinarians seeking assistance with risk assessments or post-exposure management can call the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs at 1-877-424-1300.