If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal or in contact with its saliva, consult the Treatment section of rabies in humans.
If you suspect that your domestic animal has rabies, consult your veterinarian immediately.
The Gouvernement du Québec has implemented a plan to fight against raccoon rabies. It provides for surveillance and control operations to keep Quebec free from this type of rabies.
Raccoon rabies surveillance and control operations target raccoons, skunks and red foxes.
Surveillance operations consist of collecting animals that have died or show symptoms of rabies in high risk zones in order to carry out analyses to determine whether or not they are infected with the disease.
Raccoon rabies surveillance aims to:
- Verify if the disease is present in Québec;
- Document the duration, size of the territory affected and the intensity of the outbreak, were one to occur in Québec;
- Closely monitor raccoon rabies outside Québec, since it is likely to pose a threat at our borders;
- Provide data to support scientific and epidemiological findings and risk analyses.
Enhanced surveillance area
The enhanced surveillance area, located in Montérégie and Estrie, represents the territory most at risk of raccoon rabies reintroduction. In this area, residents are called upon to report suspicious animals throughout the year. Their collaboration is essential, because among all the specimens analyzed, the odds of detecting a rabies case is the highest in the animals reported by individuals.
In 2022, the enhanced surveillance area includes 143 municipalities and Indigenous and unorganized territories: 107 in Montérégie and 36 in Estrie.
Control operations have been conducted since 2006 to contain, reduce or eliminate raccoon rabies in a given territory. They include three types of possible intervention:
- Vaccination of wild animals through manual and aerial spreading of vaccine baits;
- Post-vaccination studies, which consist in capturing animals in a vaccinated sector to conduct sampling and analysis. This makes it possible to estimate the vaccination rate of wild animals. The captured animals are then released;
- Contingency responses that are deployed following the detection of a raccoon rabies case in or near Québec. Their intent is to quickly contain the area affected by the outbreak and limit its spread to other areas. These interventions can combine control operations (wildlife vaccination) as well as enhanced and active surveillance (where specimens are collected for testing).
Since 2010, control operations have sought to keep Québec free of raccoon rabies by avoiding any reintroduction from the United States, where cases of rabies are detected each year not far from southern Québec, in the states of Vermont and New York.
No vaccination operation will be carried out in 2022. Québec continues to work with neighbouring states and provinces to contribute to the goal of eliminating raccoon rabies in northeastern North America.
Last update: September 26, 2022