Rabies vaccines urged for people at high risk

News Apr 14, 2016 by Joel OpHardt The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton Public Health is advising those with a high risk of contracting rabies to invest in pre-exposure vaccines.

"We are going to make it compulsory for our staff," said Dan Frankian, owner of local bird and animal control company, Hawkeye. "The last thing I want is for my staff to be affected."

The government pays only for post-exposure treatment, but with rising rabies rates in the area, Frankian — one of the people attending the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Wednesday evening information session in Stoney Creek — says it looks like his company will need to pay up for safety.

The cost of the pre-exposure vaccine is up to $600.

A typical post-exposure treatment involves a local administering of immunoglobulin, and four shots administered a few days apart. Once the pre-exposure vaccine is administered, it may be enough to fight the disease, but is typically accompanied by two more post-exposure shots after being exposed to a rabid animal.

Pre-exposure vaccines are targeted at anyone handling animals, including veterinarians, vet techs, hunters, trappers and lab techs.

"Pre-exposure (vaccines are) not necessary for the average person," said Susan Harding-Cruz, vector-borne disease manager for Public Health. "The shortest time is 10 days, the longest up to seven years, and the average about three weeks" before symptoms show.

Once they do, the disease is nearly always fatal, said Harding-Cruz. For hunters, it is important to remember that contact with nerves, brain and saliva can lead to exposure.

For Public Health, the December outbreak in rabies is a significant concern.

"The MNRF estimates it will take three to five years to get things under control," said Harding-Cruz. They have already hired two city staff members to exclusively deal with rabies cases.

The City of Hamilton has reported 72 cases of rabies since December 2015. Forty-eight were raccoons and 24 were skunks.

The areas with the most cases were Glanbrook with 21, lower east Hamilton with 12, Ancaster with 10, and lower Stoney Creek and central Mountain with seven cases each.

Of the 12 Hamilton regions, only lower central Hamilton and Flamborough have no reported rabies cases.

jophardt@thespec.com

905-526-3408

Rabies vaccines urged for people at high risk

News Apr 14, 2016 by Joel OpHardt The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton Public Health is advising those with a high risk of contracting rabies to invest in pre-exposure vaccines.

"We are going to make it compulsory for our staff," said Dan Frankian, owner of local bird and animal control company, Hawkeye. "The last thing I want is for my staff to be affected."

The government pays only for post-exposure treatment, but with rising rabies rates in the area, Frankian — one of the people attending the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Wednesday evening information session in Stoney Creek — says it looks like his company will need to pay up for safety.

The cost of the pre-exposure vaccine is up to $600.

A typical post-exposure treatment involves a local administering of immunoglobulin, and four shots administered a few days apart. Once the pre-exposure vaccine is administered, it may be enough to fight the disease, but is typically accompanied by two more post-exposure shots after being exposed to a rabid animal.

Pre-exposure vaccines are targeted at anyone handling animals, including veterinarians, vet techs, hunters, trappers and lab techs.

"Pre-exposure (vaccines are) not necessary for the average person," said Susan Harding-Cruz, vector-borne disease manager for Public Health. "The shortest time is 10 days, the longest up to seven years, and the average about three weeks" before symptoms show.

Once they do, the disease is nearly always fatal, said Harding-Cruz. For hunters, it is important to remember that contact with nerves, brain and saliva can lead to exposure.

For Public Health, the December outbreak in rabies is a significant concern.

"The MNRF estimates it will take three to five years to get things under control," said Harding-Cruz. They have already hired two city staff members to exclusively deal with rabies cases.

The City of Hamilton has reported 72 cases of rabies since December 2015. Forty-eight were raccoons and 24 were skunks.

The areas with the most cases were Glanbrook with 21, lower east Hamilton with 12, Ancaster with 10, and lower Stoney Creek and central Mountain with seven cases each.

Of the 12 Hamilton regions, only lower central Hamilton and Flamborough have no reported rabies cases.

jophardt@thespec.com

905-526-3408

Rabies vaccines urged for people at high risk

News Apr 14, 2016 by Joel OpHardt The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton Public Health is advising those with a high risk of contracting rabies to invest in pre-exposure vaccines.

"We are going to make it compulsory for our staff," said Dan Frankian, owner of local bird and animal control company, Hawkeye. "The last thing I want is for my staff to be affected."

The government pays only for post-exposure treatment, but with rising rabies rates in the area, Frankian — one of the people attending the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Wednesday evening information session in Stoney Creek — says it looks like his company will need to pay up for safety.

The cost of the pre-exposure vaccine is up to $600.

A typical post-exposure treatment involves a local administering of immunoglobulin, and four shots administered a few days apart. Once the pre-exposure vaccine is administered, it may be enough to fight the disease, but is typically accompanied by two more post-exposure shots after being exposed to a rabid animal.

Pre-exposure vaccines are targeted at anyone handling animals, including veterinarians, vet techs, hunters, trappers and lab techs.

"Pre-exposure (vaccines are) not necessary for the average person," said Susan Harding-Cruz, vector-borne disease manager for Public Health. "The shortest time is 10 days, the longest up to seven years, and the average about three weeks" before symptoms show.

Once they do, the disease is nearly always fatal, said Harding-Cruz. For hunters, it is important to remember that contact with nerves, brain and saliva can lead to exposure.

For Public Health, the December outbreak in rabies is a significant concern.

"The MNRF estimates it will take three to five years to get things under control," said Harding-Cruz. They have already hired two city staff members to exclusively deal with rabies cases.

The City of Hamilton has reported 72 cases of rabies since December 2015. Forty-eight were raccoons and 24 were skunks.

The areas with the most cases were Glanbrook with 21, lower east Hamilton with 12, Ancaster with 10, and lower Stoney Creek and central Mountain with seven cases each.

Of the 12 Hamilton regions, only lower central Hamilton and Flamborough have no reported rabies cases.

jophardt@thespec.com

905-526-3408