York Region provides simple steps to protect your family and pets from the rabies virus
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York encourages residents to prevent the spread of rabies during Rabies Awareness Month this May by taking a few simple steps and ensuring cats and dogs are vaccinated.
Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus that affects warm-blooded animals, including humans. Although human cases of the virus are rare, rabies can spread through the bite, lick or scratch of an infected animal. A post-exposure vaccine is available for humans in the event of contact with an infected animal. In Ontario, the most common animals that carry rabies are bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes.
To help fight the spread of rabies, follow these steps:
• Report all animal bites and scratches to York Region Community and Health Services by calling York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933
• Keep pet vaccinations up-to-date
• Don’t let 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
• Don’t feed wild animals or keep them as pets
• Observe all wild animals from a distance and never let children handle unfamiliar animals
• Bat proof your home to prevent bats from nesting – see the York Region publication Fight the bite!
Protecting yourself against rabies
• If travelling abroad, avoid contact with wild animals as well as cats and dogs in developing countries
Dogs and cats are at risk if they come into contact with an infected animal. In Ontario, it is mandatory for all dogs and cats over the age of three months to be vaccinated against the rabies virus.
Vaccinate your dog or cat at a low-cost rabies clinic hosted by the Town of Newmarket on Sunday, May 27:
WHEN: Sunday, May 27
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
WHERE: Hollingsworth Arena
35 Patterson Street
Town of Newmarket
COST: $20 per vaccination
For more information on this or any other public health related topic, please call York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653, TTY 1-866-252-9933 or visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Lisa Sposito, Community and Health Services, York Region
1-877-464-9675, ext. 4106 • After-Hours Cell: 905-955-2533 • firstname.lastname@example.org