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Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous systems (brain and spinal cord) of warm-blooded animals.1


Why is rabies a concern?

Humans and other animals can become infected during a bite or scratch from a rabid animal (rabies infected).1 This can happen if the rabid animal’s saliva or the virus comes in contact with an open cut or the moist tissues of the mouth, nose or eyes.1 Once symptoms appear, rabies is almost always fatal in animals and humans.2

How is rabies transmitted?

In Canada, rabies is transmitted by wildlife. Foxes, skunks, and bats are the main carriers of the disease.2



Rabies Updates

In 2018, two bats have tested positive for rabies: one within the City of London and one within Middlesex County. Low numbers of positive bats have been seen over the past few years.

  • A picture of a tabby cat.Bites and Scratches
    Have you been bitten or scratched by an animal? Find out what steps you should take.
  • A picture of two doctorsHealthcare Providers
    Are you a Healthcare Provider that has been informed of an incident leading to a possible rabies exposure? Learn what you are required to do.
  • A picture of an animal care worker with a dogVeterinarians, Police and Animal Care Agencies
    Have you been informed of an animal bite or other animal contact that may be a possible rabies exposure? Learn what you are required to do.
  • A picture of two children with their family dogProtecting Family and Pets
    Learn some of the things you can do to protect your family and your pets from being exposed to rabies.
  • A picture of a cat and a dogLow-Cost Pet Clinics
    Do you have a cat or dog that you need to get rabies vaccinated? See if there is a low-cost clinic near you.

Additional Information

For more information on rabies, please continue to browse this website.

To speak to a Public Health Inspector on the Environmental Health Team about rabies, or to report an animal bite, please call:

  • 519-663-5317 ext. 8531
Date of creation: April 4, 2013
Last modified on: June 5, 2018


1Heymann, D.L. (Ed.). (2015). Control of communicable diseases manual (20th ed.). Washington, DC: American Public Health Association Press.