Rabies Prevention and Control
Rabies is a viral infection which affects the nervous system of warm-blooded animals (mammals), including humans. The virus, which is found in the saliva of infected mammals, can be transmitted through:
- bites that break the skin
- saliva entering an open wound
- saliva entering the mouth, nose or eyes
Although rabies can be transmitted by either domestic or wild mammals, in North America, it is most often transmitted by bats, foxes, skunks and raccoons. Treatment to prevent rabies is most effective if started promptly after the exposure.
Toronto Public Health works with health professionals to reduce the risk of rabies in humans by investigating exposures to animals. Toronto Public Health also works with Toronto Animal Services, neighbouring health units and various provincial agencies, to reduce the risk of rabies in Toronto.