With the addition of 28 animal rabies cases reported in Ontario last month, the case count for the year-to-date stands at 222, according to Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) data.

Through September, the majority of cases were reported in raccoons (131), followed by skunks (61) and bats (28).

Raccoon image/CDC
Raccoon image/CDC

LISTEN: Rabies: A comprehensive interview with Pamela Wilson

Nationally, Canada has seen 302 animal rabies cases through the first nine months.

According to the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, all mammals are susceptible to rabies. Raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, dogs, coyotes and cats are the likely suspects. Other animals like otters and ferrets are also high risk. Mammals like rabbits, squirrels, rodents and opossums are rarely infected.

Rabies infected animals can appear very aggressive, attacking for no reason. Some may act very tame. They may look like they are foaming at the mouth or drooling because they cannot swallow their saliva. Sometimes the animal may stagger (this can also be seen in distemper). Not long after this point they will die. Most animals can transmit rabies days before showing symptoms.