raccoon rabies ontario

A series of vaccinations and treatment with rabies antibodies can prevent infection in humans in most cases if administered soon after exposure. This is despite expectations of rabies incidence in Niagara before the St. Lawrence based on the progression of rabies from New York. Niagara Region Public Health says so far in 2020, three raccoons have tested positive for rabies. Can Commun Dis Rep. 2016;42:125-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.14745/ccdr.v42i06a03, One Health Global Network. Ontario. Raccoon removal for residential and commercial clients. A confirmed case of raccoon rabies was defined as an animal testing positive for rabies using the fluorescent antibody test together with virus typing methods utilizing either monoclonal antibody panels or sequencing to identify the raccoon variant. On the other hand, statistics for cases of distemper are much higher within or without the raccoon populations. It attacks the brain and spinal cord of … Assessing the role of long-distance translocation and spatial heterogeneity in the raccoon rabies epidemic in Connecticut. The City of Hamilton rabies webpage had 7,393 unique visitors between October 2016 and May 2017, with users spending an average of 3.6 minutes on the webpage and 83% leaving without going elsewhere on the website. However, in 2015/16, several raccoons and skunks in Hamilton, Haldimand County and Niagara were confirmed to been infected with rabies. A total of 1,202 raccoons (Procyon lotor) and 337 skunks (Mephitis mephitis) were captured and euthanized using 24,719 trap-nights in the three PR zones around the location of the three rabies cases, near Brockville, Ontario. Rabies management in Ontario Continued collaboration is necessary to again eliminate raccoon rabies from Ontario. It was successfully eliminated in 2005 with Ontario being declared free of raccoon rabies in September 2007Footnote 6. The … Raccoon rabies in eastern Ontario. A multi-agency report entitled “ Raccoon Rabies Outbreak in Hamilton, Ontario: A Progress Report ” cites the rabies outbreak’ origins as a long-distance translocation into the area from New York. Can Commun Dis Rep. 2018;44(5):116-21. https://doi.org/10.14745/ccdr.v44i05a05. Thankfully, this is becoming more and more a rare occurrence throughout Canada. At the federal level, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) provides rabies laboratory testing services for animal and human samples. Such surveillance helps delineate the extent of the outbreak, which informs management decisions regarding oral vaccination zones as well as public health risk determinations. 2012) in eliminating raccoon rabies that spread north through ORV zones in the United States. In this sense, the contributions of public health, OMAFRA and MNRF round out the One Health players in terms of human, animal and environmental health. In the following 19 months, raccoons with rabies were identified in areas surrounding Hamilton including Niagara Region, Brant County, Halton Region and Haldimand–Norfolk. Campaign banners at 46 different transit shelters were estimated to have had over 13 million views over an 8-week period. We are currently at  480  cases of raccoon strain, and  21  cases of fox strain rabies in Ontario to date. The One Health approach applies a coordinated, collaborative, multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral effort to address potential or existing risks that originate at the animal–human–ecosystems interfaceFootnote 7. The One Health approach to the raccoon rabies outbreak in Ontario is summarized in Table 3. At the time of this publication, Hamilton Region and surrounding area continue to experience an epizootic of raccoon rabies. 2019 Jul;55(3):645-653. doi: 10.7589/2018-09-216. A raccoon will almost always lash out and attack when it feels threatened, this is how human beings contract rabies. However, it can have a significant impact on wildlife populations (especially the reservoir species – bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes – in which specific rabies virus variants circulate) and therefore the ecosystems in which they live. Ontario was declared to be free of raccoon rabies strain in 2005. With this being said, even with a decrease in cases, rabid raccoons in Ontario represent the largest intake of cases regarding rabies from raccoons. Raccoon rabies originally emerged in the state of Florida in the 1940s, spreading to the Mid-Atlantic states in the 1970s. You will not receive a reply. This outbreak required a combination of oral rabies vaccine delivery approaches, such as distribution of baits by hand in the urban centres and by helicopter in large urban green spaces. The rabies outbreak first surfaced in December 2015 after a raccoon picked up by City of Hamilton Animal Services tested positive for the virus. Hamilton Public Health Services continues to work with Community Veterinary Outreach, which provides pet care for people facing financial pressures, to offer rabies vaccination at a lower cost so pets and people are protected from rabies. The prior existence of contingency plans at MOHLTC (human health response) and MNRF (wildlife rabies control) as well as the existence of the community One Health committee in Hamilton, were key to the speed with which response measures involving diverse programmatic activities were put in place. Epub 2019 Jan 8. On top of that they are prey species for larger mammals including; coyotes, foxes, dogs, wolves, great horned owls, and humans. In the interest of brevity, for this report "raccoon rabies" is used to mean rabies caused by the raccoon variant rabies virus, whether the disease is present in raccoons or another species. Still, there are instances where bats (the number one carrier of rabies) can attack raccoons and this makes the problem potentially dangerous for humans since raccoons frequent yards and homes in search of food. These data also speak to the utility of going beyond a passive surveillance model to include the testing of animals found dead or exhibiting clinical signs consistent with rabies, regardless of the history of exposure to humans or domestic animals. We are currently at 477 cases of raccoon strain, and … The barrier in eastern Ontario was breached in 1999 with cases occurring in several locations on the Ontario side of the river. Rabies – Scientific basis of the disease and its management. Between December 2015 and June 2017, 338 animals tested positive for raccoon rabies in Ontario. In 2016 alone, we reported that there were 171 confirmed rabid raccoons in Ontario (that number has grown to 288 cases), and in 2017, there were 149 cases of rabies with 86 of them being attributed to raccoons. These are Ontario’s first raccoon rabies cases since 2005. The most common rabies carriers in Canada are raccoons, with 50 confirmed cases in southwestern Ontario in 2018. Rabies virus is a Lyssavirus in the family Rhabdoviridae. While the majority of the cases were raccoons, there was significant spillover into striped skunks, as well as other species including two cats, a fox and a llama. With this being said, there are still cases of rabid raccoons that pop up every now and again. Knowledge of raccoon ecology, in particular density and movements, has been a… We are currently at 479 cases of raccoon strain, and 21 cases of fox strain rabies in Ontario … Posted: Dec 06, 2015 9:47 AM ET | Last Updated: December 7, 2015. Preparing for and responding to recent incursions of raccoon rabies variant into Canada. Given the size of the current epizootic, and the unique challenges of dealing with an urban outbreak, it is not surprising that the outbreak has extended beyond 19 months. The report concluded that an infected raccoon was transported into the area via shipping or transport truck. Of these, 251 (74%) were from the area around Hamilton. Raccoons are one of the most successful carnivore species in North America, occupying a variety of habitats (Rosatte 2000). The Strategy to Eliminate Raccoon Rabies in Ontario July 14, 2018 by Bill Dowd Rabies is a common virus among wild species across the world, which affects animals once passed through blood, bodily fluids, bites, and scratches. 3rd Edition). Nadin-Davis SA. Unlike other nations in North America, the Canadian government has done a thorough job of passing regulations throughout provinces concerning the removal and control of wild animals. The last rabid skunk reported in Ontario was in 2016 near Stratford. Indeed, although the majority of cases have been in wildlife, this is the first time that the raccoon rabies virus variant was identified in domestic animal species in Canada. Since reporting began in 1924, a total of 25 people in six provinces have died of rabies in Canada, Professional Raccoon Exclusion from Decks, Professional and Humane Raccoon Baby Removal, Professional Raccoon Removal From Chimneys. We thank all the staff at Hamilton Public Health Services, MOHLTC, OMAFRA, MNRF Wildlife Research and Monitoring Section and the CFIA Rabies Laboratory in Ottawa who contributed to the rabies response activities. Keep your trash bins strapped and sealed and consult a raccoon removal specialist to remove the animals from your property. 2009) and Quebec, Canada (Mainguy et al. Raccoons recently captured in the Hamilton and Haldimand-Norfolk areas have tested positive for rabies. At least four individuals are receiving treatment due to contact with the raccoons. DL – Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Writing-Original draft, Writing-Review and editing, Visualization, CDB – Writing-Review and editing, Investigation, CFG – Writing-Review and editing, Investigation, SAND – Writing-Review and editing, Investigation, TB – Writing-Review and editing, Formal analysis, Investigation, KM – Writing-Review and editing, Investigation, JH – Conceptualization, Writing-Review and editing, Investigation, Supervision. Public Health Agency of Canada reports and publications, Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR), 2018 Volume 44 - Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR), CCDR: Volume 44-5, May 3, 2018: Emergency Response, Abbreviation: dRIT, direct rapid immunohistochemical test, Rabies laboratory testing and virus typing. We are currently at 480 cases of raccoon strain, and 21 cases of fox strain rabies in Ontario … These clinics were organized to provide rabies vaccination at a lower cost, enabling lower income families to vaccinate their pets. Surveillance for rabies in Canada is based on a passive model whereby only suspect animals that have potentially exposed people or domestic animals are tested for rabies. Though case incidence appears to be declining, several years will likely be required to reach elimination. Emerg Infect Dis 2017;23(9):1454-61. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2309.170325, Birhane MG, Cleaton JM, Monroe BP, Wadhwa A, Orciar LA, Yager P, Blanton J, Velasco-Villa A, Petersen BW, Wallace RM. What is One Health? The decision to test a suspect animal that had potentially exposed domestic animals alone to rabies was made by OMAFRA, typically in collaboration with the exposed animal's veterinarian. The outbreak of raccoon rabies in southwestern Ontario is by far the largest to have occurred in Canada. Update: Raccoon rabies epizootic – United States and Canada, 1999. It also differs from previous outbreaks in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick in that it is centred in a densely populated urban area. With these statistics, it is crucially important to keep the trend in decline. Much of this is due to Ontario regulations related to wildlife removal. Chapter 4: Molecular Epidemiology. incursions of raccoon rabies into eastern Ontario. However, the decrease in the monthly number of cases and in the percentage of animals testing positive suggests that the epizootic may be decreasing in intensity. Raccoon rabies outbreak in Hamilton, Ontario: A progress report. As a result, Hamilton Public Health Services had well-established relationships in place before the identification of this epizootic, which helped in the rapid implementation of the raccoon rabies response. In both cases, samples were shipped directly to CFIA for testing. This was followed by updating case management algorithms for potential human exposures and alerting local health care providers to incorporate local epidemiology into postexposure management. Members of the committee met with local veterinary professionals, animal control services and representatives from other agencies to discuss diseases prevalent in both humans and animals, and share information about various environmental risk factors. 3rd ed. The Algonquian words aroughcun and aroughcoune mean “one that rubs, scrubs, and scratches with its hands.” (See also Indigenous Languages in Canada.) Previous raccoon rabies epizootics were eliminated from the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick in six, four and three years, respectively. Of these, 326 (4.89%) were identified by dRIT and confirmed by fluorescent antibody testing and subsequent variant typing as positive for raccoon rabies (Table 2). http://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/rabies/rabies-in-canada-2014/eng/1424879193262/1424879195231, Trewby H, Nadin-Davis SA, Real LA, Biek R. Processes underlying rabies virus incursions across US-Canada border as revealed by whole-genome phylogeography. These are Ontario’s first raccoon rabies cases since 2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2000;49(2):31-5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10680602?dopt=Abstract, Wandeler AI, Salsberg EB. The animals that most often transmit rabies in Ontario are bats, foxes, skunks and raccoons. This will ensure that there is no possibility of the animals, either normal or rabid, from even attempting to spread the disease to yourself, your loved ones, or your pets. Ontario has also long been at risk for the incursion of raccoon strain rabies, which is widespread in the northeastern United States, with cases occurring in northern and western New York state along the border with Ontario. Much of this is due to Ontario regulations related to wildlife removal. San Diego: Elsevier Inc; 2013. pp. Ontario instituted rabies control programs more than 20 years ago, and in the summer of 2015 distributed more than 100,000 baits containing rabies vaccine. Wunner WH, Conzelmann KK. San Diego: Elsevier Inc; 2013. pp. In a recent study of experimental rabies in raccoons, animals were inoculated with rabies virus several times over one year and their responses were monitored ( Niezgoda et al., 1991 ). [ACCORDION][ACCORDION_ITEM] [ACCORDION_TITLE]What Happens if a Case of Raccoon Rabies is Confirmed in Ontario? From the initial finding of the positive raccoon in Hamilton, the numbers increased from 2015–16, but have been declining since. In contrast, in 2014 only 18 rabies cases were detected in the entire province, all in batsFootnote 9. Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2015. Between December 2015 and June 2017, MNRF tested 6,685 animals (wildlife species with no known human or domestic animal exposure) using dRIT. Local public health units are responsible for all activities dealing with prevention of rabies cases in humans, including postexposure case management of people potentially exposed to rabies virus, provision of rabies postexposure prophylaxis (rPEP) vaccine to primary care providers, and raising public awareness. As the outbreak progresses, there is a risk that more cases of raccoon rabies in domestic animal species could occur. It is important to find a balance between the risk of an incursion going undetected for a period of time and the cost of enhanced surveillance programs. It appears that the disease was introduced after a long-distance translocation of a diseased raccoon either by water (shipping) or by land (transport trucking), which has been previously describedFootnote 12. Close collaboration and active communication were essential to coordinate activities and work towards one common overall goal of eliminating raccoon rabies in Ontario. Despite proactive measures to prevent raccoon rabies entering Canada from the United States, several incursions of this disease have occurred. First, it’s important to note that rabies is relatively rare. The animals are certainly a nuisance, particularly when they continue to ransack waste bins, but it is important to avoid attempting to confront a raccoon simply for the reason that the raccoon in question could have rabies. Raccoons are classed as rabies vector species (RVS). Raccoons are carriers of rabies (raccoon rabies virus), distemper (both canine and feline), raccoon roundworm,and parvovirus, to name a few. Prev Vet Med 2005;71(3-4):225-40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2005.07.009. Investigation and Results: Representatives from local, provincial and federal agencies collectively activated a raccoon rabies response that involved policy updates, enhanced surveillance, a public education campaign and mass vaccination of wildlife and domestic animals. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry believes the rogue raccoon hitchhiked its way into the province, possibly on the back of a tractor trailer. Viral genome sequencing determined that this epizootic was likely caused by long-distance translocation from the United States. In 1977, a variant of raccoon rabies distinct from the southern variant was detected in Virginia and West Virginia. Campaign materials included billboard posters, colouring booklets for children, social media messaging, newspaper articles, television interviews, a rabies awareness video, and in-person information sessions for high-risk groups (e.g., animal welfare groups). Hanlon CA, Childs JE. Figure 2: Number of clients received rPEP in Hamilton Region in 2015 and 2016, Abbreviation: rPEP, rabies postexposure prophylaxis. Of these, 169 (36%) pets had had no previous vaccination history. Raccoons also are the reservoir for the raccoon variant of rabies in eastern North America, including Ontario (Debbie 1991; Rosatte et al. http://www.onehealthglobal.net/what-is-one-health/, Middel K, Fehlner-Gardiner C, Pulham N, Buchanan T. Incorporating direct rapid immunohistochemical testing into large-scale wildlife rabies surveillance. No new cases of rabies detected this week (November 25, 2020). Rabies is a disease spread by the bite or scratch of an infected animal. According to the Canadian government, “Since reporting began in 1924, a total of 25 people in six provinces have died of rabies in Canada.” This represents a history of rabies throughout Canada, but the great thing about this number is how small rabies cases are throughout Canada recently due to tightly controlled regulations. A removal specialist can deter any attacks from rabid raccoons and can safely remove the animals from your home. One of the primary animals to carry rabies throughout the country is indeed the raccoon. Rabies and Other Diseases. 17-60. It describes the control measures undertaken to curb the spread of the epizootic and the collaborative One Health approach used by the many agencies involved in the response. Authors Kerri Pedersen 1 , Amy T Gilbert 1 , Kathleen M Nelson 2 , Daniel P Morgan 3 , Amy J Davis 1 , Kurt C VerCauteren 1 , … These are Ontario’s first raccoon rabies cases since 2005. Animal vaccination was one of the main strategies in minimizing the spread of raccoon rabies, particularly through oral vaccination of raccoons and skunks. Raccoons are a top vector for rabies and its transmission to humans. This is also the first time this rabies virus variant has been identified in a domestic animal in Canada. An additional 12 cases were identified during this time from samples submitted by MOHLTC or OMAFRA. This is the first time Ontario has had a positive case of raccoon rabies since September 2005, although cases have continued to show up in bordering New York State. Help keep the trend in decline. Objective: This paper describes the raccoon rabies outbreak in Ontario (identified in December 2015) and the control measures undertaken to curb the spread of the epizootic using the One Health approach. However, the cost of such a program particularly in the absence of evidence of a disease incursion is a critical consideration. Using data extrapolated from a temporal clustering of raccoon rabies cases in Ontario, the incubation period was estimated at a mode of approximately 5 weeks (Tinline et al., 2002). D Lobo 1 *, C DeBenedet 2, C Fehlner-Gardiner 3, S Nadin-Davis 3, M Anderson 4, T Buchanan 5, K Middel 5, C Filejski 6, J Hopkins 7,8 * Affiliations. Overall guidance for local public health units: Assistance to veterinarians regarding risk assessment, sample submission, postexposure management, Enhanced rabies surveillance including dRIT testing, Notification to primary care providers and revised rabies risk assessment tool, Notification to veterinary professionals and animal services personnel, Primary care providers  and veterinarians, Clinical management of potentially exposed cases and administration of rPEP, Clinical management of potentially exposed cases and administration of rabies vaccine, Retrieval and preservation of dead animals for further testing or disposition, Abbreviations: CFIA: Canadian Food Inspection Agency; dRIT, direct rapid immunohistochemical test; MOHLTC, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care; MNRF, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; NA, not applicable; OMAFRA, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs; rPEP, rabies postexposure prophylaxis. Incursions of raccoon rabies from neighbouring US states into New Brunswick (2000–2002; 64 cases) and Quebec (2006–2009; 104 cases) were similarly eliminatedFootnote 6. At least four individuals are receiving treatment due to contact with the raccoons. These outbreaks represented relatively small foci compared to the broader geographic distribution of raccoon rabies in the United States. Rabies is a disease spread by the bite or scratch of an infected animal. Continued collaboration between these agencies is necessary to achieve this goal. Bat strain rabies is an ongoing concern in the province. In the following 19 months, raccoons with rabies were identified in areas surrounding Hamilton including Niagara Region, Brant County, Halton Region and Haldimand–Norfolk. Rabies in Ontario. This enhanced surveillance was used to understand the scope (species and geographic) of spread and number of animals impacted. That is, raccoons are known to carry rabies, and they have a … 2 Hamilton Public Health Services, Hamilton, ON. As such, key public health messages include encouraging vaccination of all dogs and cats and avoidance of contact with stray animals that are unlikely to be vaccinated. Ontario (Rosatte et al. Such actions may contribute to earlier detection of new rabies incursions. Since the detection of the outbreak in December 2015, the vast majority of cases (>96%) were detected through the enhanced rabies surveillance program implemented by MNRF. More raccoons infected with rabies have been found in Hamilton in Ontario's first outbreak of that strain of the virus in a decade. “It’s unfortunate to have cases of raccoon rabies reappearing in Ontario,” says Dale Lyttle, Senior Public Health Inspector. [/ACCORDION_TITLE] [ACCORDION_CONTENT] Staff of the Ministry of Natural Resources will begin a point-control program near the point of … No matter what behavior a raccoon is exhibiting, it is crucial to call a raccoon removal specialist at the first sighting of a raccoon invasion within your yard. For enquiries, contact us. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2017;250(10):1117-30. http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.250.10.1117, Smith DL, Waller LA, Russell CA, Childs JE, Real LA. Between December 2015 and June 2017, 338 animals tested positive for raccoon rabies in Ontario. That is, raccoons are known to carry rabies, and they have a specific variant of the disease named after them. The responsibility for rabies control in Canada is shared across multiple jurisdictions and reflects the One Health approach, a concept that recognizes the relationships between public health, animal health and the environment. Billboard viewership estimates were provided by the billboard owners and social media views were calculated by the communication team. In: Jackson AC, editor. Four more confirmed cases of raccoon rabies have been discovered in Hamilton, as the deadly infectious disease claws its way back into Ontario after a decade away. Cases of distemper in raccoons generally fluctuate throughout the year, but animal control services, the SPCA and the local humane societies all report a spike in the number of cases occurring during the mid-winter and early spring. Can Vet J. A collaborative approach involving numerous stakeholders in the public and private sectors has been instrumental in addressing this epizootic. Background: Raccoon rabies is caused by a variant of the rabies virus found in raccoons but transmissible to other mammalian species, including humans. Ontario Rabies Update for August 12, 2020 – 3 New Cases 3 new cases of raccoon rabies in two raccoons (reported last week but weren’t on the map yet) and one skunk in Niagara (St. Catherines) (August 12, 2020). In 2019, there were 65 cases of rabies confirmed in Ontario. An epizootic curve for the outbreak is shown in Figure 1. Because raccoon rabies has been eliminated from ne … RACCOON ( PROCYON LOTOR) RESPONSE TO ONTARIO RABIES VACCINE BAITS (ONRAB) IN ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, NEW YORK, USA J Wildl Dis. Below is an updated geographical depiction of number of raccoon strains of rabies in Ontario up to February 2019. Ontario racoon tests positive for rabies Issued: Thursday, December 17, 2015. As reported by the Wildlife Research and Monitoring Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry: We are reporting 1 new case of raccoon rabies in one skunk in Niagara (Welland) (September 9, 2020). Rabies vaccine bait identification The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry July 2020 The Ultra-lite vaccine bait, ONRAB®, is used in Ontario for both fox strain and raccoon strain rabies control. Chapter 2: Rabies virus. It has since spread throughout the eastern seaboard of the United States (US), reaching the Canada–US border in the mid-1990sFootnote 3Footnote 4. In Ontario, cases of rabid raccoons are significantly decreasing. If you too have a problem with pest raccoons call us to book an inspection. The report concluded that an infected raccoon was transported into … Following confirmation of the first case of raccoon rabies in Hamilton in December 2015, Hamilton Public Health Services activated a raccoon rabies response based on the MOHLTC raccoon rabies contingency plan, and revised its rabies risk assessment tool to reflect the change in local epidemiology (i.e. The collaborative approach between the various interdisciplinary agencies at the federal (CFIA), provincial (MOHLTC, OMAFRA and MNRF) and local levels (public health units, local animal control and private veterinary professionals) has been instrumental in addressing this raccoon rabies epizootic. Eventually this rabies variant converged with the southern variant in North Carolina. Rabies – Scientific basis of the disease and its management. Other animals also carry rabies in Canada. Rabies in Ontario. Hire a raccoon removal service in Toronto is the best option. In addition, Hamilton Public Health Services in conjunction with local veterinarians held two rabies vaccination clinics for domestic cats and dogs in September 2016 and April 2017. The decision to test a suspect animal that had potentially exposed humans to rabies was made by the local public health unit. It was positive for raccoon rabies, which was last seen in Ontario between 1999 to 2005 in the eastern part of the province. 61-121. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) assists veterinarians as needed with risk assessments, sample submission and postexposure management of companion animals and livestock (collectively, domestic animals) potentially exposed to rabies by wildlife or other domestic animals. The source of this outbreak was explored by comparing the whole-genome sequence of two virus isolates from Hamilton with a large database of raccoon variant rabies virus genomes from across the eastern US. This variant has since spread north along the eastern seaboard to Ontario, Canada, and was reported in northwest Ohio in 1996. Although these animals can be a particularly enraging nuisance, never approach a raccoon. In one of the Hamilton cases, two unvaccinated dogs came into contact with a rabid raccoon. This article provides an update on the raccoon rabies epizootic in Ontario, particularly in and around Hamilton, Ontario, where the outbreak was first identified in December 2015. This poses many challenges with respect to control. The most common rabies carriers in Canada are raccoons, with 50 confirmed cases in southwestern Ontario in 2018. It was first detected in Ontario in 1999Footnote 5 and was localized to two rural areas in eastern Ontario with 132 laboratory-confirmed cases detected over six years. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry responded with an intensive program of point infection control and vaccination, resulting in the elimination of raccoon strain rabies … A multi-agency report entitled “Raccoon Rabies Outbreak in Hamilton, Ontario: A Progress Report” cites the rabies outbreak’ origins as a long-distance translocation into the area from New York. This was the first case of raccoon rabies in the province since 2005 and the first case of raccoon rabies ever recorded in southwestern Ontario. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is responsible for rabies control activities in wildlife, which include enhanced surveillance in wildlife populations at risk, testing of samples and mass vaccination programs. 1999;40(10):731. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17424571?dopt=Abstract, Stevenson B, Goltz J, Massé A. Bait distribution in the urban core required coordinated messaging from Hamilton Public Health Services, MNRF and OMAFRA to advise the public who came across or into contact with these baits. Geographical attribution of positive animals was based on local public health unit boundaries. However, genetic analysis of the virus circulating in Hamilton demonstrated that a simple cross-border spread was not the source of this outbreak. 1 Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON. Once signs of rabies appear, in any animal, the disease is virtually always fatal. Chapter 3: Epidemiology. Two raccoons found in St. Catharines have tested positive for rabies. The Origins of the Rabies Outbreak. These procedures were carried out by the Centre of Expertise for Rabies at the CFIA. Rabies does not have a direct environmental impact as it is a mammalian virus and very fragile outside of the body. In December 2015, MNRF implemented enhanced rabies surveillance in an area extending 50 kilometers beyond where all diagnosed cases were found, with weekly testing of sick or found-dead animals with no known human or domestic animal contact, using a direct rapid immunohistochemical test (dRIT)Footnote 8. During 1996 to 1998, an average of 52% to 55% of the raccoon (Procyon lotor) population on Wolfe Island, Ontario was vaccinated against rabies during proactive trap-vaccinate-release (TVR) operations. 2006). Rabies management in Ontario San Diego: Elsevier Inc; 2013. pp. It attacks the brain and spinal cord of warm-blooded animals, including humans. In: Jackson AC, editor. The raccoon had been tested because it had been in a fight with two unvaccinated domestic dogs. In one of the Hamilton cases, two unvaccinated dogs came into contact with a rabid raccoon. A series of vaccinations and treatment with rabies antibodies can prevent infection in humans in most cases if administered soon after exposure. The largest outbreak, first reported in December 2015 in the city of Hamilton, Ontario, has resulted in the reporting of … Thirteen veterinarians participated, vaccinating a total of 472 pets (321 dogs and 151 cats). The viruses circulating just across the border in New York state, where raccoon rabies has been endemic since the late 1990s, were phylogenetically very distinct from those responsible for the Hamilton outbreak, supporting the conclusion that this epizootic represents a long-distance translocation into the areaFootnote 10. The raccoon had been involved in … Raccoons are the most common rabies carrier in Canada, but the threat is fairly rare. Trop Med Infect Dis 2017;2(21):1-4. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2030021, Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The map and table below identify areas where positive rabies cases have been found, using information reported by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. These genetic data are consistent with raccoon rabies incidence data where rabies has been detected across the St. Lawrence River in Ontario while no cases have been detected in Ontario across the Niagara River. Rabies – Scientific basis of the disease and its management. The Ministry of Natural Resources has dropped about 220,000 raccoon baits in the area in a bid to quash an outbreak of raccoon rabies in the Hamilton, Ont., … When raccoons were introduced overseas in Europe and Asia, several cultures adopte… Rabies cases in 2019. In Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) provides guidance and support for the local management of suspected rabies exposure, local rabies contingency plans and legislation around rabies immunization. 3rd ed. Raccoon rabies is a strain of rabies spread mainly by raccoons, although other animals can have the same type of rabies. Volume 44-5, May 3, 2018: Emergency Response, D Lobo1*, C DeBenedet2, C Fehlner-Gardiner3, S Nadin-Davis3, M Anderson4, T Buchanan5, K Middel5, C Filejski6, J Hopkins7,8*, 1 Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, 2 Hamilton Public Health Services, Hamilton, ON, 3 Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ottawa, ON, 4 Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Guelph, ON, 5 Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Peterborough, ON, 6 Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Toronto, ON, 8 Department of Health Research Methods, Epidemiology, and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Lobo D, DeBenedet C, Fehlner-Gardiner C, Nadin-Davis SA, Anderson MEC, Buchanan T, Middel K, Filejski C, Hopkins J. Raccoon rabies outbreak in Hamilton, Ontario: A progress report. The animals that most often transmit rabies in Ontario are bats, foxes, skunks and raccoons. In: Jackson AC, editor. Figure 1: Epizootic curve showing ongoing raccoon rabies outbreak in Ontario, December 2015 to June 2017. Seventeen billboards at multiple locations across Hamilton were estimated to have been viewed over 8 million times during a 12-week period. Raccoons live their lives in the wilderness and due to their taxonomy and size, the animals possess an aggressive nature to adequately defend themselves from predators. Rabies in Canada 2014 [cited 2017 Oct 14]. Despite these measures, since 1999 outbreaks of raccoon rabies have occurred in Ontario [4–6] and in the eastern Canadian provinces of New Brunswick [6] and Quebec [7]. Raccoons are classed as rabies vector species (RVS). The English word raccoon comes from the Algonquian language of the Powhatan confederacy of Indigenous tribes that lived in the Virginia area at the time of British colonization. This is challenging given many people choose not to vaccinate their pets despite the legal requirement in Ontario. In the US, the domestic animal species most commonly reported with rabies is the cat, with the majority from areas endemic for raccoon rabiesFootnote 11. Thus, even jurisdictions deemed at low risk of a rabies incursion should have contingency plans in place for such an event. Viral variants are viral populations that are maintained in specific host reservoirs in a geographic area and are distinct from other viral populations that may be located in the same area or that have diverged from a common viral ancestorFootnote 2. We provide customized solutions that are humane and affordable. This was the first case of raccoon rabies in the province since 2005 and the first case of raccoon rabies ever recorded in southwestern Ontario. The baits were distributed by hand in urban areas, by helicopter in large urban green spaces and by fixed-wing aircraft in surrounding rural areas across the enhanced surveillance area. Five or more animals tested positive for raccoon rabies every month between December 2015 and June 2017, with an average of 18 animals per month (range 5–30). Between December 2015 and June 2017, MNRF distributed over 1.7 million baits containing ONRAB® (live adenovirus vector AdRG 1.3) oral rabies vaccine during campaigns in December 2015, spring 2016 and fall 2016. In Ontario, cases of rabid raccoons are significantly decreasing. As reported by the Wildlife Research and Monitoring Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry: We are reporting 1 new case of raccoon rabies in one skunk in Niagara (Welland) (September 9, 2020). In 2013, Hamilton Public Health Services was one of six health units in Ontario that helped form a community One Health committee. Raccoons recently captured in the Hamilton and Haldimand-Norfolk areas have tested positive for rabies. Once signs of rabies appear, in any animal, the disease is fatal. While the rabies outbreak was mostly confined to raccoons, the reservoir species for this virus variant, there was significant cross-species transmission of the raccoon virus ("spillover") into striped skunks, as well as some spillover into other species, including two cats, a red fox and a llama (Table 1). On December 4, 2015, the public health department in Hamilton, Ontario was notified that a locally trapped raccoon had tested positive for the raccoon variant of the rabies virus. The Hamilton Public Health Services developed the "Rabies is Real" public awareness campaign, requesting people to stay away from wild animals; report dead or strangely behaving animals to local animal services; contact public health if they are bitten or scratched by an animal; and to get their pets vaccinated. The disease of rabies caused by raccoon variant rabies virus is indistinguishable from rabies caused by other rabies virus variants. Introduction of raccoon rabies into Canada in the past has typically resulted from cross-border spread and thus the viral variants on either side of the US–Canada border were very similar. Once symptoms appear, rabies is almost always fatal. In 2019, a total of five animals tested positive for the rabies virus: a dog, a bat, a racoon, and two skunks. Confirmatory testing on all dRIT-positive and inconclusive samples was performed by CFIA. Attempting to remove a raccoon on your own is against regulations and this is for good reason. More than 3.6 million baits containing a recombinant vaccinia virus–rabies glycoprotein (V-RG) oral rabies vaccine were aerially or hand-distributed during 1999–2006 in an approximate 4,000-9,000 km 2 area of eastern Ontario, Canada, as part of a multitactic approach to control the raccoon variant of rabies. 123-77. Raccoons are carriers of rabies (raccoon rabies virus), distemper (both canine and feline), raccoon roundworm,and parvovirus, to name a few. On top of that they are prey species for larger mammals including; coyotes, foxes, dogs, wolves, great horned owls, and humans. Cases were identified through different processes, depending on whether people or domestic animals had been potentially exposed to the suspect animal or the suspect animal was identified through other surveillance activities. Hamilton Public Health Services sent out medical advisories informing primary care providers about the raccoon rabies epidemic and the criteria for rPEP and created an educational video on rPEP administration. In 2016, raccoon rabies was identified in Niagara for the first time. Compared to 2015, there was a 52% increase in the number of people who received rPEP in and around Hamilton in 2016 (Figure 2). The disease caused by the raccoon variant rabies virus is indistinguishable from rabies caused by other variants. Another unique feature of this response was that there was no single "lead" organization; the response was shared with each organization leading the part that was within their mandate. Ontario racoon tests positive for rabies Issued: Thursday, December 17, 2015. When threatened, a raccoon will almost always attack another animal or a human being. These measures include immunizing rac-coons along selected border areas of eastern Ontario and the Niagara peninsula in efforts to maintain population immunity [3]. For example, distribution of baits by low-flying fixed-wing aircraft, as is standard for oral vaccination campaigns in rural areas, is not possible in urban areas. These are Ontario’s first raccoon rabies cases since 2005. The "Rabies is Real" campaign was launched in September 2016. a local rabid raccoon). In the northern part of their range they are subjected to long winters, but their adaptability has enabled them to thrive in locations such as Ontario, Canada. Still, there are instances where bats (the number one carrier of rabies) can attack raccoons and this makes the problem potentially dangerous for humans since raccoons frequent yards and homes in search of food. In 2018, there were only 50 confirmed raccoon cases in all of southwestern Ontario. Scratching and biting are the two defenses that raccoons use the most often. Conclusion: This outbreak of raccoon rabies is by far the largest to have occurred in Canada and the first raccoon rabies outbreak documented in a densely populated urban area. A further complication of this urban rabies outbreak lies in the large populations of potential spillover hosts, such as dogs and cats, further raising concern for an increased risk of transmission to humans. 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