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Cow Tests Positive for Rabies in Perth County

A cow on a dairy farm in Perth County has tested positive for rabies.

PERTH COUNTY - A cow from Elma Ward in Perth County has tested positive for rabies. 

This is the third confirmed rabid animal in Perth County since 2015. The other two animals were a skunk and another cow. Senior Health Inspector Dale Lyttle says the positive test serves as a reminder to everyone. 

"This positive result continues to remind us that rabies is still present in Perth County."

Rabies is almost always fatal for animals and the virus can be carried in the saliva of infected mammals. It is usually spread to humans through a bite. Lyttle says In this case the rabid cow was found a on a working dairy farm and the Health Unit is working with the farm operators to investigate potential human exposure. 

"The cow was most likely in contact with a rabid wild animal, such as a skunk or fox. The Health Unit is working with the farm operators to investigate potential human exposure."

To protect your family and your pets from rabies:

* Keep pets up-to-date with their rabies vaccination. In Ontario, it’s the law that all cats and dogs over three months of age must be vaccinated against rabies

* Teach children to stay away from wild animals, dogs and cats they don't know or animals that are acting strangely. A strange acting animal could be a sign that it is sick

* Talk to your veterinarian about vaccinating your livestock against rabies

* Keep pets away from wildlife. Don't let your pets run free in the neighbourhood and keep them indoors at night

* Don't feed, transport or relocate wildlife. 

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