This page was reviewed or revised on Thursday, October 25, 2012 11:04 AM
Rabies is a virus that is carried in an animal's saliva. Humans and other animals can become infected through a bite or scratch from an animal with rabies, or if the rabies virus comes in contact with an open cut or the moist tissues of the mouth, nose or eyes. Rabies is fatal if untreated.
Most of Canada's rabies is carried by wildlife. This makes control difficult and eradication almost impossible. Foxes, skunks, bats and raccoons are the main carriers and pose a continuing threat because they often live close to people. If they infect your farm animals or pets, they may endanger you.
If you've been bitten or scratched by an animal, wash the wound with soap and hot water and contact your family doctor. Report all biting incidents to the Community Health Services.
For more information or enquiries about Rabies Control, please contact the Team Leader - Rabies Control, Michael Richarson at 519 383-8331 ext. 3578 or 1-800-667-1839.
Also by e-mail: rabies team leader
The Ministry of Health has two toll-free 1-800 lines for the public to get direct and immediate access to information on rabies. The number for the general public is 1-800-268-1154, and the number for the hearing impaired is 1-800-387-5559.
Fact Sheets have been developed by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to answer all questions regarding the rabies disease and how to protect family members and pets and who to contact for more information.
The fact sheets are available at the MNR's Rabies in Ontario website: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Rabies/2ColumnSubPage/STEL02_164618.html
General information on rabies is also available by calling MNR at 1-888-574-6656.