To protect residents from rabies and injury, Toronto Public Health advises against coming into contact with raccoons

Patrick D Costa

Reported raccoon bites and scratches of people are often the result of avoidable interactions such as feeding or petting raccoons and any other physical contact.

Due to a significant increase in the number of reported cases of people being bitten and/or scratched by raccoons and the number of sick and injured raccoons, Toronto Public Health (TPH) advises residents to avoid physical contact with raccoons and all other wild animals.

People frequently report being bitten or scratched by raccoons as a result of avoidable interactions like feeding or petting raccoons or any other physical contact.

As of May 31, TPH has gotten 88 reports of individuals being nibbled as well as scratched by raccoons. When compared to the previous five-year average for reports from 2018 to 2022, this represents an increase of 117% for 2023. In 2023, more than 80% of the people chomped or potentially scratched by raccoons got rabies post-openness prophylaxis (Kick) treatment, a progression of different immunization portions as raccoons are a high-risk vector for rabies transmission.

Although rabies is rare in Toronto, it can be fatal if not treated. If a resident is bitten, scratched, or has open wounds or mucous membranes contaminated with the saliva of a mammal, the following steps should be taken:

  • Quickly wash the nibble or twisted with cleanser and water for something like 15 minutes
  • Apply a germ-free to the injury
  • Look for clinical consideration from a medical services supplier to evaluate the gamble and examine therapy choices

Residents are encouraged to do the accompanying to safeguard their families and pets from rabies openness:

  • Stay away and refrain from touching raccoons and all other wild animals whether they appear tame, injured or sick
  • Contact 311 to report the sighting of a raccoon that appears ill or behaving oddly
  • Do not feed wild animals such as raccoons and squirrels or keep wild animals as pets
  • Keep pets away from wild animals and do not let pets roam unsupervised
  • Vaccinate the family pet against rabies, which is required in Ontario after the pet is three months old
  • Wildlife-proof the home and yard, which includes storing garbage bins inside a garage until the morning of pick-up.


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