GREATER TORONTO AREA – The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC)is requesting that all public health units in southern Ontario that border New York State, as well as those sharing a border with Hamilton, ensure that their Raccoon Rabies Contingency Plans (RRCPs) are up-to-date.
The MOHLTC was notified on December 4, 2015, that a raccoon captured in the Hamilton area had tested positive for rabies, and that the rabies virus was confirmed to be the raccoon rabies strain that is circulating in North America and highly prevalent in New York State.
“This is Ontario’s first raccoon rabies case since 2005; previously, the only outbreak of raccoon rabies in Ontario occurred in eastern Ontario in 1999,” said Ross MacEachern, Manager, Environmental Health with the Health Department. From 1999 to 2005, Ontario conducted a very aggressive rabies vaccine wildlife bating program which resulted in the elimination of the raccoon rabies strain from the province.
Mr. MacEachern added that it is very important that the public is made aware of and follows the appropriate rabies prevention and control measures which include:
Additional information on rabies can be found by calling the Health Department’s Environmental Help Line at 1-888-777-9613.