MHLU - Health Status Resource

Rabies

Rabies

Key Findings: 
  • The number of animals testing positive for rabies in Middlesex-London varied between zero and eight per year between 2000 and 2011 (Fig. 11.11). 
  • The majority of confirmed animal rabies cases was bats, however two cats and one skunk also tested positive in the early 2000s (Fig. 11.11).
  • The average proportion of investigations that resulted in post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) was 21% over the 2000-2011 time period (Fig. 11.12).
  • There was a decline in the proportion of PEP treatments given after 2008 (Fig. 11.12).
Interpretive Notes

The majority of rabies investigations occured after an interaction with a dog or cat, which were sometimes strays.  There have been no reported cases of human rabies in Ontario since 1967.  However, there are occasionally cases in wild and domestic animals in Middlesex-London. If a person is bitten or scratched by an animal that cannot be confined for observation, or is positively exposed to a bat, they are given prophylactic treatment for rabies (including antibodies and vaccine).  These numbers only represent the tests of the animals captured. Often the animal was not captured, and therefore, not tested.  In 2008, there was a change in the technical guidelines used to determine when prophylaxis is given after encounters with bats.  Now, with some rare exceptions, only people who have come into physical contact with a bat are given the treatment.  Prior to 2009, if any sleeping person woke up to a bat in the room he or she was given the treatment regardless of whether they knew if they had come into contact with the bat.

How this Indicator was Calculated: 
Ontario Public Health Standard: 

Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol - Section 1, Subsections b-iii, vi, viii

Rabies Prevention Control - Requirement #4

Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control Standard - Requirement #3

Health Hazard Prevention and Management Standard - Requirement #2