ABC-Animal - Fauna Chronicle
racoon rabies is everyone’s business !
Rabies is a fatal disease that can be transmitted from an infected animal to a human being. Since racoon rabies first made its appearance in Québec in 2006, a great deal of energy has been devoted to eliminating this disease.
Surveillance and Control
Every year, close to one million vaccinal baits are distributed throughout Estrie and Montérégie (province of Québec, Canada) to curb the spread of rabies. A large number of raccoons, skunks and foxes are thus vaccinated over an area of almost 9,000 km2. Depending on the sectors, the small greenish-brown plastic packages carrying the vaccines are dropped by plane, by helicopter or distributed by teams on the ground.
The last positive cases of racoon rabies have been identified in spring 2009, in south Montérégie (province of Québec, Canada), near the USA border.
Citizens of Montérégie and Estrie Can Help with Rabies Surveillance
• Do not handle the vaccinal baits, even though they do not represent any danger to people, animals or the environment.
• If you come in contact with a perforated or damaged bait package, call the number on the back of the bait or call Info-Santé at 811.
• To prevent the spread of this disease, refrain from moving wild animals to another place, and get information about alternative methods for managing animals that are considered to be a nuisance.
• Keep garbage and potential shelters out of reach of wild animals.
• Report raccoons, skunks or foxes that are dead or disoriented, paralysed or abnormally aggressive to Services Québec at 1 877 644-4545.
Protect Yourself against Rabies
• Do not approach unknown animals. If you get bitten, wash the wound with plenty of soap and water for ten minutes, and quickly call Info-Santé.
• If your pets, notably cats and dogs, spend time outside, consult a veterinarian to have them vaccinated for rabies.
• Consult a veterinarian if one of your pets exhibits rabies symptoms (change in behaviour, unusual aggressiveness, disorientation, weakness, isolation or paralysis).
For More Information
For more information on Raccoon Rabies, consult the following Web sites
www.rageduratonlaveur.gouv.qc.ca (in French)
Direction de la santé animale et de l'inspection de viandes
Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ)