Halton Region Health Department confirms second case of raccoon rabies in Burlington

News 100 redBy Staff

October 20th, 2016



The Halton Region Health Department reports a second confirmed case rabies in a raccoon found in the City of Burlington.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency provided the data. The Health Department is reminding residents to avoid all contact with raccoons and other wild animals.

Rabies is a viral disease that causes severe damage to the brain and spinal cord, and if untreated before symptoms appear will lead to death. The virus is spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually entering through a bite or scratch.


Cute – but not when they are infected with rabies.

“Anyone who comes in physical contact with a raccoon or other wild animal should see a physician immediately and contact the Health Department by dialing 311,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region. “After someone is exposed to rabies, timely use of the rabies vaccine can prevent the rabies illness. The rabies vaccine is extremely effective if it is administered before any symptoms occur.”

While this is only the second confirmed case of raccoon rabies in Halton in 2016, the Health Department wants to remind residents that there have been a higher than average number of cases reported in areas neighbouring the region and that precautions should be taken when you see wild animals. There are a number of things you can do to protect your family and pets:

Make sure your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up to date.
• Warn your children to stay away from any wild, stray or aggressive animals.
• Do not touch dead or sick animals.
• Do not feed or keep wild animals as pets.
• Keep your pet on a leash when off your property.
• Seek medical attention immediately if you come in contact with a raccoon or other potentially rabid animals.
• Any pet that has come in contact with a raccoon or other wild animal should be seen by a veterinarian.
• Report all animal bites or scratches to the Halton Region Health Department.

For more information on rabies or to learn about positive raccoon rabies results in Halton, visit halton.ca/rabies or call the Halton Region Health Department by dialing 311.

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7 comments to Halton Region Health Department confirms second case of raccoon rabies in Burlington

  • Stephen White

    City officials have repeatedly been loathe to discuss let alone initiate any reasonable easures to contain or control wildlife in Burlington. They keep mouthing this tripe about living in harmony with wildlife. This is a great strategy…until we are faced with a rabies problem. Then they suddenly become mute.

  • Hans

    When one infected animal is discovered, it indicates that there are many, many more – it’s like the tip of the proverbial iceberg. That was the case in Hamilton. While bait vaccination would be a good (and humane) start, reducing the unwanted wildlife population with birth control should be the longer term goal, so that people can sit in their backyards, let their kids play outside, or go for a walk without fear of being attacked or bitten by raccoons, coyotes, and skunks.
    Do we really want to wait for a neighbour to be bitten and infected, and possibly die, before taking action?

  • Lonely Taxpayer

    The raccoon was found in Aldershot south of King Road and Plains Road, in the same area as the most recently found rabid raccoon.

  • Steve

    @hans I believe there is bait vaccinations that can be placed around. I wonder if animal control is doing this.

  • Steve

    It was found in Aldershot around King road and Plains road. I live in this area and a few weeks ago spotted a skunk stumbling through my backyard. It could hardly stand, but managed to crawl out of my yard under the fence.

  • What area of the City have the racoon been found

  • Hans

    Raccoons carry other serious diseases besides rabies and it seems likely that Burlington’s coyote population will become infected with rabies as well. Maybe it’s time for some preventive action, like wildlife birth control?