May 11, 2010
Media Release

May is Rabies Awareness Month

The Regional Municipality of York offers tips to help prevent the spread of rabies
NEWMARKET – May is Rabies Awareness Month in Ontario and The Regional Municipality of York Public Health branch encourages residents to help prevent the spread of the virus.
 
Rabies is a viral infection transmitted in the saliva of infected animals.  Humans most often become infected through a bite or scratch of an infected animal - usually a bat, cat or dog.  The virus enters the central nervous system and once symptoms appear it is almost always fatal.
 
The good news is that rabies is preventable.  York Region Public Health encourages you to take the following steps to prevent the spread of rabies:

• Report all animal bites and scratch exposures to York Region Community and Health Services by calling York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933
• Vaccinate your domestic animals (dogs, cats and ferrets) that are three months of age or older – it is the law
• Reduce the possibility of exposure to rabies by not letting your pets roam free – keep cats and ferrets indoors and supervise dogs when they are outside
• Don't leave exposed garbage or pet food outside as it may attract wild or stray animals
• Wild animals should never be fed or kept as pets
• Observe all wild animals from a distance and teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals
• Bat-proof your home and other structures to prevent bats from nesting
• If you have bats living in your home and want to remove them, it is best to contact a professional pest control or wildlife removal company
For more information on this or any other public health-related topic, please contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933.
 
For more information on the Regional Municipality of York and our services, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Cell (905) 716-9753
 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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