Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Oxford County Public Health
Rabies Is Still A Risk
Rabies is rare in Ontario, but still a risk to people and animals. As part of Rabies Awareness Month, Oxford County Public Health & Emergency Services is reminding residents that they can prevent becoming infected with rabies by following three simple steps:
- Immunize your dogs and cats against rabies.
- Teach kids not to pet dogs or other animals they don’t know.
- Never touch or feed wild animals.
During the month of May, Public Health is distributing posters in community centres, pet stores and other locations throughout the County to raise awareness about how to prevent rabies.
By law, cats and dogs over the age of three months must be vaccinated against rabies every one to three years. Contact your veterinarian for more information.
If you are bitten by an animal, call your doctor or Oxford County Public Health at 519-539-9800 or 1-800-755-0394. Public Health investigates animal bites to ensure there not a risk of rabies infection. For more information visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/health.
Rabies is a virus that attacks the central nervous system of mammals, including humans. The disease is present in some local wildlife, like bats, and, in some cases, domestic animals like cats, dogs and cattle. Rabies is always fatal to the infected animal, and if not treated early, is usually fatal to humans.
Rabies is carried in saliva and can be transmitted through a bite, cut, scratch, or contact with the moist tissues of the mouth, nose or eyes.
In the early stages of rabies, animals may not show any sign of infection. Sometimes pet owners may notice the following signs of rabies, although any sign of illness in an animal should be investigated:
- Animals seem depressed
- No fear of humans (wild animals)
- Extreme excitement and aggression
If you are bitten by an animal, call your doctor or Oxford County Public Health at 519-539-9800 or 1-800-755-0394 immediately.
Communications & New Media Specialist
519-539-9800 ext 3505