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Rabies

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

 
  • A picture of a tabby cat.Exposures, Investigations & Contacts
    Learn what to do, how the Middlesex-London Health Unit investigates and who to contact for animal bite/scratch incidents.
  • A picture of two doctorsAnimal Bite Reporting for Professionals
    Are you a Healthcare Provider, Veterinarian, Police or other professional that has been informed of an incident leading to a possible rabies exposure? Learn what you are required to do.
  • 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.
 

Rabies Updates

In 2019, three bats tested positive for rabies within the Middlesex-London area. Two bats were from the City of London, and the third bat was from the Municipality of Middlesex Centre. Low numbers of positive bats have been seen over the past few years.

 

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

View the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT) web page for a good overview of rabies and learn how to protect your pet.

Rabies Laws

There are many Acts, Regulations, and by-laws that relate to rabies control and rabies investigations.

In Ontario, these include:

For the City of London, please view:

Note: Municipalities, townships or villages in Middlesex County may also have by-laws with regards to animal care and control. Contact the correct office to ask about any by-laws that may be in place.

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/scratch, please call:

  • 519-663-5317
 
Date of creation: April 4, 2013
Last modified on: January 8, 2021
 

References

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