The number of Ontario rabies cases has dropped dramatically in the first half of 2018 compared to 2017, according to numbers from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).
From January 1 to June 21, 2017, there were a total of 69 Ontario cases of rabies (64 raccoon strain and five fox strain). From Jan. 1 to June 20 this year, there were 30 cases (26 raccoon strain, and four fox strain).
The MNRF started dropping extra vaccination bait traps in 2016 after a rabies outbreak in Ontario. That year, there were 288 rabies cases, of which 89 per cent were the raccoon rabies strain found in the Hamilton, Haldimand and Niagara regions. Ministry officials believe the strain came from an animal that stowed away on a train or transport truck from the United States in 2015.
That’s still a far cry from the 3,600 cases across Ontario in 1986. The numbers started to decrease after 1989 when bait traps with a vaccine were air-dropped throughout the province.