Halton Region Health Department confirms first case of raccoon rabies in Burlington

Halton Region Health Department confirms first case of raccoon rabies in Burlington

Release Date: Oct 7, 2016

The Halton Region Health Department received test results from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on October 4 confirming a case of rabies in a raccoon found in Burlington. The Health Department is reminding residents to avoid all contact with raccoons and other wild animals.

Rabies is a viral disease that causes severe damage to the brain and spinal cord, and if untreated before symptoms appear will lead to death. The virus is spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually entering through a bite or scratch.

“Anyone who comes in physical contact with a raccoon or other wild animal should see a physician immediately and contact the Health Department by dialing 311,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region. “After someone is exposed to rabies, timely use of the rabies vaccine can prevent the rabies illness. The rabies vaccine is extremely effective if it is administered before any symptoms occur.”

There are a number of things you can do to protect your family and pets:

  • Make sure your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up to date.
  • Warn your children to stay away from any wild, stray or aggressive animals.
  • Do not touch dead or sick animals.
  • Do not feed or keep wild animals as pets. 
  • Keep your pet on a leash when off your property.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you come in contact with a raccoon or other potentially rabid animals.
  • Any pet that has come in contact with a raccoon or other wild animal should be seen by a veterinarian.
  • Report all animal bites or scratches to the Halton Region Health Department.

For more information on rabies, call the Halton Region Health Department by dialing 311 or visit halton.ca/rabies.

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 500,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, dial 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.

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Media Contact:

Stacey Hunter
Communications Specialist
Halton Region
905-825-6000, ext. 7529
1-866-442-5866
stacey.hunter@halton.ca