Source: CBC (Extract)
Posted: November 10, 2022

A positive case of rabies has been confirmed in a raccoon in western New Brunswick, the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries announced Thursday.

The case in the Upper Kent area, between Florenceville-Bristol and Perth-Andover, is the first confirmed rabies case in New Brunswick in more than two years, department spokesperson Nick Brown confirmed.

“Those that were in contact with this raccoon have been treated appropriately,” Brown said in an emailed statement.

Public Health provides preventive treatment to anyone at risk of exposure to the virus after contact with a rabid animal, he said.

No other information, such as the number of people involved, their ages, or how they’re doing, has been provided.

Public Health does not consider the case to be a threat to the general public, Brown said.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system of mammals. It is deadly for wild animals and family pets and can also kill people if they are exposed and are not treated promptly.

The province plans to vaccinate raccoons and skunks in the area against rabies in the coming days by distributing rabies vaccine baits for them to eat. This is an extension of the annual summer rabies prevention and control measures conducted in western New Brunswick since 2014.

The oral vaccine baits “pose little risk to humans or domestic animals,” the department said in a news release, but anyone who finds one should leave it alone.

Some live traps will also be set to help proactively monitor the population, said Brown.

What to do

Rabid animals may not immediately show signs or symptoms, the department said.

“People are urged to take steps to protect themselves, their families, their pets and any livestock from rabies by keeping a safe distance from wildlife, by not adopting wildlife as pets, by not interfering with wild animals that appear abandoned, and not moving or relocating wildlife.”

The department is also encouraging New Brunswickers to ensure their pet’s vaccinations are up to date and to seek prompt medical attention if they’ve been bitten or scratched by a potentially rabid animal.

People should report any raccoons, skunks or foxes that appear sick and may have rabies to Tele-Care 811.

More information on rabies, including a surveillance map of confirmed cases between 2014 and 2020, information on protecting yourself against rabies, and frequently asked questions is available online.