Improving rabies surveillance in wild animals

Improving rabies surveillance in wild animals

At the beginning of April, an increase in the number of raccoon rabies cases was observed in Vermont, including one case recorded 10 kilometers from the border with Quebec.

To prevent the spread of the disease north of the US border, the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Change Control, Wildlife and Parks (MELCCFP) distributed more than 46,000 vaccine baits in 17 municipalities in Estre and Montérégie.

Announcement issued by the Ministryon April 14, describes an operation carried out over an area of ​​about 660 km22. The manual operation particularly targeted forested areas, river banks, edges of agricultural fields, and around garbage bins.

In this context, a workshop is being held until May 24 at the University of Montreal organized by Timothy Boisseau, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UdeM, and bringing together researchers from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the MELCCFP, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the US Department of Agriculture and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. (United State).

Better identify areas of uncertainty

This meeting was organized with the help of postdoctoral student Emily Beasley and Professor Patrick Layton, from the university's School of Veterinary Medicine, and aims to “harmonise data in order to facilitate the exchange of information between different partners, as well as vaccination models, in order to potentially develop panels”. Information that allows us to monitor vaccination efforts.”

According to the man who also works as a researcher at the Quebec Biodiversity Science Centre, part of the current problem relates to planning and monitoring interventions, which is not the same between the partners in Quebec and Ontario and the Canadians and Americans.

READ  What is the name of the multiverse?

“The observational models are different, so the data are not always comparable to each other,” he says. All vaccination strategies rely on modeling, but we lack a better understanding of uncertainty to better coordinate surveillance and vaccination efforts.

This means that when scientists create a model, it produces results that give an idea of ​​the risk of rabies spreading in a given area. “However, it only takes one case for the virus to spread, and we want to be able to better adapt our models to better target these areas of uncertainty,” says Timothy Boisseau.

Prevent raccoon rabies from heading north

Raccoon rabies is the least common among wild animals in Canada.

Last year in Quebec, no cases were detected out of 1,200 samples taken. Recent cases in Vermont also raise concerns that raccoon rabies could one day cross the Quebec border.

“Hence the importance of improving the coordination of our monitoring efforts,” concludes Timothy Boaso.

What to do if you are bitten or scratched by an animal?

Rabies is a contagious and fatal disease that affects all mammals. Therefore, it can be transmitted from infected animals to humans. In addition to raccoon rabies, other types of rabies circulate in Quebec, particularly among bats and, in northern Quebec, among foxes. Therefore, caution must be exercised at all times and with all types of mammals.

Rabies can be avoided by following safe behaviors:

  • If you are bitten or scratched by an animal or come into contact with its saliva, clean the wound with soap and water for 10 to 15 minutes even if the wound appears minor. Call Info-Santé 811 quickly to obtain appropriate medical follow-up.
  • Never approach an unknown animal, wild or domestic, even if it appears harmless.
  • Never touch the carcass of a wild animal with your bare hands.
  • Take steps to avoid attracting wildlife to your property (for example, store your outdoor litter boxes out of reach of animals and avoid feeding pets outside).
  • Report raccoons, skunks and foxes in the Estre and Monteregie areas that appear sick, disoriented, abnormally aggressive, paralyzed, or are found dead by calling 1 877 346-6763 or by filling out a report form.
READ  Space: A Chinese probe successfully landed on the far side of the moon

source: Ministry of Environment, Climate Change Control, Wildlife and Parks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *