Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Optimism On The Raccoon-Rabies Front

A raccoon waits to be checked in Montreal yesterday. This fall, experts will begin mapping Montreal, charting raccoon habitats and identifying high-density locations. ALLEN MCINNIS, THE GAZETTE

From The Montreal Gazette:

An immunological barrier is now in place to help protect Montreal and the South Shore from an outbreak

Montreal remains the only Canadian city that has ever had to confront raccoon rabies on its doorstep - it never threatened Toronto or Ottawa before it was eradicated in Ontario in 2005.

But three years into Quebec's fight against the virulent rabies strain that in a worst-case scenario could spread from raccoons to dogs and cats and then humans, Quebec's lead scientist on raccoon rabies is expressing guarded optimism.

As a massive summer vaccination campaign draws to a close, Denise BĂ©langer said Quebec is in a much better position than it was when the fatal rabies virus was first detected in 2006 in southwestern Quebec along the Vermont border.

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