On August 25, 2016 the first case of domestic rabies for over two decades was found in Hamilton. A rabid cat came into contact with a Haldimand-Norfolk resident. The man is now receiving treatment after being bitten by the infected animal.
Hamilton Public Health are investigating and testing to see if it’s related to the raccoon strain of rabies discovered late last year. The cat originated in a rural area of Ancaster.
There have been six new cases of rabies found last week including the feral cat. Five cases were from Hamilton and one case from Haldimand near Hagersville. Since December 2015, the number of raccoon strain cases has rocketed to 180 in Ontario.
Raccoon strain rabies: 180 cases.
Hamilton: 159 cases.
Haldimand 11 cases.
Niagara: 5 cases.
Brant: 5 cases.
Raccoons: 125 cases.
Skunks: 53 cases
Cats: 1 case.
Red Fox: 1 case.
The Hamilton rabies outbreak began with an American raccoon
A hitchhiking raccoon that arrived in Ontario by way of southeastern New York has been determined to be the culprit. The virus was discovered after an altercation with two dogs in the back of an animal control van in Hamilton. Rabies has spread throughout the city becoming one of the largest outbreaks in Ontario in the last few decades.
What is rabies?
The virus affects the nervous system of animals and humans. It’s transmitted through contact with saliva of infected wildlife. Transmission can happen as a result from breaking the skin or contact with the eyes, mouth or open wounds. Rabid creatures are either manic or docile. Any contact with an infected animal should be reported to public health immediately.
Rabies can be treated through post-exposure vaccines. If you suspect that you’ve been bitten then you should call your doctor immediately.
- Safe distance from wild animals. It can be transmitted through living or dead.
- Do not feed animals and avoid contact.
- Supervise your pets.
- Have the appropriate vaccinations for pets.
- Report any contact to public health services and call your doctor.
Hamilton wildlife control services
If you discover any suspicious wildlife that you feel could be infected by rabies make sure to keep your distance. Immediately contact a wildlife control service. Attempting to solve the problem yourself could put you in harm’s way.
Living with wildlife in your home or property could put you at greater risk for coming into contact with rabid wildlife. Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control has been removing wildlife from homes and businesses since 1989.
Call us today! 1-888-592-0387