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On December 4, 2015, Hamilton Public Health Services received a report from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) of raccoon strain rabies in a raccoon that attacked two dogs. This rabid raccoon was the first rabies-positive terrestrial animal since 1994 in Hamilton. Between December 2015 and December 2017, Hamilton received reports of over 275 rabid animals. This presentation will provide a recap of the response program initiated by Hamilton Public Health Services in collaboration with key local and provincial partners in order to address this outbreak. It will also provide discussion around awareness, education, surveillance and control measures aimed at reducing the risk of raccoon rabies within the city and surrounding areas.
The City of Hamilton incorporated and evolved new processes, revised risk assessments and improved community education and awareness using a variety of new resources that brought about both challenges and successes. Public education included the development and implementation of an all-encompassing awareness campaign to educate, focusing on innovative outreach methods and messaging not typically used in past resources. After more than two years with the raccoon rabies outbreak, Hamilton has created and implemented a comprehensive communication plan with supporting resources aimed at reducing the risk of any human related rabies cases.
Presenter: Jane Murrell
Jane Murrell completed a Bachelor of Science before attending Ryerson University where she completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Health. She gained experience while working in private industry before coming to Hamilton Public Health Services as a Certified Public Health Inspector. After four years in Hamilton, Jane has become the lead inspector for the raccoon rabies outbreak with a focus on risk assessment and health promotion.
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