Perth District Health Unit confirms a cow on a dairy farm has tested positive for rabies.
On Thursday, the health unit announced the cow in Elma Ward is the third confirmed rabies case in the county since 2015; the other cases involved a skunk in April 2016 and another cow in December 2015, both in Ellice Ward.
“This positive result continues to remind us that rabies is still present in Perth County,” says Senior Public Health Inspector Dale Lyttle.
“The cow was most likely in contact with a rabid wild animal, such as a skunk or fox.”
The health unit is working with the farm operators to investigate any potential human exposure.
Rabies is almost always fatal and is carried in the saliva of infected mammals but there are no published studies demonstrating the presence of rabies virus in cows’ milk and pasteurized milk presents no risk for rabies virus transmission.
The Dairy Farmers of Ontario is working with the dairy farm involved in this incident to manage milk from the farm and protect the public from any health risks.