Eight additional cases of raccoon rabies have been discovered in Hamilton, bringing the area’s total since the outbreak to 33 cases.
Of the eight cases, four were discovered in Glanbrook, one in Ancaster, one in lower-east Hamilton, one in lower Stoney Creek, and one in upper Stoney Creek, according to Hamilton’spublic health page. The page dates those discoveries on Feb. 3, but the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s (MNRF) Chris Davies says those dates just reflect when discoveries are confirmed to be raccoon rabies, and not when they were actually discovered.
Most of the Feb. 3 confirmations were actually discovered back in December and January, he said.
There have now been 20 cases of raccoon rabies discovered in the Hamilton area in the last month, 10 of which were confirmed on Jan. 26. But Davies, head of wildlife research with the ministry, said the province will not be setting more bait traps after all of the confirmations, since raccoons will not be actively feeding in the winter and would not go for the bait.
The rabies outbreak in Hamilton goes back to early December, when a captured raccoon in an animal services truck got into a skirmish with two bullmastiffs. Those dogs were put into quarantine, where they remain.
A case of fox rabies was recently confirmed in the Stratford area, but Davies said that is a different strain of the virus, “completely unrelated” to the raccoon outbreak.
Persons wanting to report wildlife (e.g. raccoons, skunks, foxes, etc.) exhibiting abnormal behavior should contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Rabies Hotline at 1-888-574-6656.