Four new ra­bies cases found in Hal­ton

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Hal­ton Re­gion says rac­coon-strain ra­bies has been found in three rac­coons and one skunk in Burling­ton, bring­ing the to­tal num­ber of con­firmed in­fected an­i­mals to 18.

The Hal­ton Re­gion Health De­part­ment says 11 rac­coons and seven skunks have tested pos­i­tive for ra­bies and is ad­vis­ing res­i­dents to avoid con­tact with the an­i­mals — as well as other wild an­i­mals. The first pos­i­tive an­i­mal in Burling­ton was found last Oc­to­ber.

In June, eight an­i­mals — five skunks and three rac­coons — were found to have ra­bies in Hamil­ton, ac­cord­ing to the city’s web­site. The an­i­mals were found in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing An­caster, Dun­das and on the east, cen­tral and west Moun­tain.

So far in July, two rac­coons have been con­firmed to have the disease in Hamil­ton.

In an ef­fort to con­trol the out­break, which was first de­tected in De­cem­ber 2015, the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Forestry will be drop­ping more than 750,000 vac­cine baits in the Hamil­ton area this sum­mer.

The first roughly 250,000 baits were sched­uled to be dis­trib­uted by hand this month and an­other 500,000 are to be dropped by he­li­copter in Au­gust.

Ra­bies is a vi­ral disease spread through the saliva of an in­fected an­i­mal, of­ten through a scratch or bite.

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