In 2017, a huge number of cases of rabies, 149 to be specific, were recorded in Ontario. Even though it has decreased to almost half the number it was in 2016, it is more than what was reported during the six-year span from 2010 to 2015.
During the last year, rabies virus was found in 20 bats, 37 skunks, one red fox, one cat, four cows, and 86 raccoons, making up the majority.
It was noted that rabies cases were maximum during the summer and spring months. However, the rate of diagnosis was almost constant throughout the year, with 10 cases reported in the month of December alone – five in skunks and five in raccoons. Most of these cases were spotted in and around the Hamilton region, one in Brant County being an exception.
Hamilton has been a been a victim time and again with the area being the target of rabies virus outbreak in December, as well as, in the year 2015. It was, later on, discovered that the reason for the outbreak in December 2015 was the fight in an animal control van between a raccoon and two dogs. It was also determined that the raccoon had somehow contracted the virus in Big Apple, i.e., the New York state initially.
It was found that a maximum number (nine) of December cases were tied to this outbreak and one in the Brant County region.
The tenth case of December was linked back to a separate incident involving a fox. This was diagnosed in animals between the areas of Huron County and Waterloo. It was further tied to an animal in Blyth region.
The 14 cases of rabies from the fox were confirmed as a part of that breakout. On the other hand, the upsurge in rabies virus in the Hamilton region due to raccoon reached around 385 animals.
The fact that, there had been no more than 50 confirmed cases since the year 2008 in Ontario, prior to this outbreak, definitely cannot be ignored.
Hence, it is advisable to be very alert and careful while dealing with such rabies-transmitting wild animals. Better yet, you should get in touch with a professional to deal with such incidents to avoid any mishaps.
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