More rac­coons with ra­bies found in Cayuga

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Two more rac­coons have tested pos­i­tive for ra­bies in Cayuga.

It brings the to­tal num­ber in Haldimand County to seven since the re-emer­gence of the rac­coon strain of ra­bies was dis­cov­ered in On­tario in De­cem­ber.

The ma­jor­ity of the prov­ince’s 147 cases have been in Hamil­ton.

So far, 85 rac­coons and 48 skunks have tested pos­i­tive in the city. Hamil­ton also re­ported the year’s first case of bat ra­bies on July 15.

Nearly all hu­man cases of ra­bies in Canada have been from ra­bid bat bites. Hamil­ton has had 11 cases of ra­bid bats that may have come in contact with peo­ple since 2010. None of the seven Haldimand cases in­volved hu­man contact. Three of the rac­coons were from Cayuga, two from the Cale­do­nia area, one from Hagersville and another from the York area.

“With the two most re­cent rac­coons test­ing pos­i­tive be­ing found closer to the res­i­den­tial area of Cayuga, it’s im­por­tant the pub­lic un­der­stands the sit­u­a­tion is not lim­ited to the coun­try­side” says Kris Lutzi, act­ing pro­gram man­ager for the Haldimand-Nor­folk Health Unit en­vi­ron­men­tal health team.

“We en­cour­age all mem­bers of the pub­lic to re­main aware of the sit­u­a­tion, keep their pets up to date on their ra­bies vac­ci­na­tion, and avoid contact with wildlife, un­fa­mil­iar an­i­mals and an­i­mals act­ing strangely.”

To re­port wildlife act­ing ab­nor­mally call 1-888-574-6656. If the animal bites or scratches a per­son call the health unit im­me­di­ately at 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623. If the animal comes into contact with a pet, con­sult a vet and re­port it at 1-877-424-1300.

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