The Halton Health Department has requested that information on raccoon rabies be provided to all parents. Rabies is a fatal disease that affects the central nervous system of warm blooded animals, including humans. The virus spreads through exposure to saliva from infected animals – bites, scratches, or licks on broken skin and mucous membranes such as eyes or mouth. After someone is exposed to rabies, timely administration of rabies treatment can prevent rabies infection as it is only effective if administered before any symptoms occur.
The Health Department is reminding staff and students to:
- avoid unfamiliar cats and dogs
- not pet, feed, or touch sick or dead animals and to observe wild animals from a distance
- wash animal bites and scratches with soap and water and seek medical attention right away
- keep their pet dogs and cats up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations
- not allow their pets to roam free and keep them indoors at night to prevent contact with wild animals
- take pets that come in contact with a raccoon or other wild animal to a veterinarian for follow-up
- not attempt to relocate wild animals
Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by an animal or had physical contact with wildlife should seek medical attention immediately and report the exposure to the Health Department by dialing 311 as soon as possible, For more information on rabies, please visit www.halton.ca/rabies.