Rabid skunk found near Elora

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says a skunk found near Elora has tested positive for rabies.

Only third rabies case in region since 2016

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says a skunk found near Elora has tested positive for rabies.

Officials say there had been no human contact with the skunk.

Public health said Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has responded to the discovery by distributing oral rabies bait in the area where the infected animal was discovered.

Dangerous disease

"Exposure to rabies is fatal," Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of health and CEO for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, said in a release Friday.

Rabies spreads through the saliva of an infected animal, usually from bites, scratches or contact with mucous membranes such as nose and mouth.

Mercer strongly advised pet owners to be wary of contact with wild animals. 

"If you think your pet may have been bitten or scratched by another animal, contact your veterinarian immediately. If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to rabies, contact your physician immediately or go to a hospital emergency department," she said.

The health agency said in the past two years there have been two other confirmed cases of rabies in the region, both in bats discovered in Guelph.