Ontario Public Health Standards

Rabies Prevention and Control

Goal

  • To prevent the occurrence of rabies in humans.

Societal Outcomes

  • There is reduced incidence of suspected rabies exposures in humans.
  • Human rabies is prevented in all reported suspected rabies exposures.

Board of Health Outcomes

  • The board of health achieves timely and effective detection and identification of positive reports of rabies in animal species and other emerging risks and trends associated with rabies in humans.
  • The board of health is aware of and uses epidemiology to influence the development of healthy public policy and its programs and services to prevent the occurrence of rabies in humans.
  • The public is aware of rabies and its prevention.
  • The public, community partners, and health care providers report all suspected rabies exposures in the health unit to the board of health.
  • The board of health manages reports of suspected rabies exposures.
  • The public, community partners, and health care providers are prepared for rabies threats.

Assessment and Surveillance

Requirements

  1. The board of health shall liaise with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to identify local cases of rabies in animal species.
  2. The board of health shall report rabies data elements in accordance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Rabies Prevention and Control Protocol, 2008 (or as current). [PDF]
  3. The board of health shall conduct surveillance of rabies in accordance with the Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol, 2008 (or as current) [PDF] and the Rabies Prevention and Control Protocol, 2008 (or as current). [PDF]
  4. The board of health shall conduct epidemiological analysis of surveillance data, including monitoring of trends over time, emerging trends, and priority populations, in accordance with the Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol, 2008 (or as current). [PDF]

Health Promotion and Policy Development

Requirement

  1. The board of health shall work with community partners to improve public knowledge of rabies and its prevention in the community by supplementing national/provincial education/communications strategies and/or developing and implementing regional/local communications strategies27 based on local epidemiology.

Disease Prevention/Health Protection

Requirements

  1. The board of health shall annually remind those individuals specified in the Health Protection and Promotion Act of their duty to report suspected rabies exposure.
  2. The board of health shall ensure that the medical officer of health or designate is available on a 24/7 basis to receive reports of and respond to suspected rabies exposures in accordance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act; the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Protocol, 2008 (or as current); and the Rabies Prevention and Control Protocol, 2008 (or as current). [PDF]
  3. The board of health shall address the prevention and control of rabies threats as per a local Rabies Contingency Plan, as outlined in the Rabies Prevention and Control Protocol, 2008 (or as current). [PDF]

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27 This requirement does not explicitly address the promotion of rabies vaccination for cats and dogs, because there have been few such cases in recent years. However, this requirement does not preclude the possibility of such activities in the future.

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