Rabies is a viral infection that affects the nervous system of warm-blooded animals, including humans. The virus, which is found in the saliva of infected animals, can be transmitted three ways:

  • bites that break the skin
  • saliva entering an open wound
  • saliva entering the mouth, nose or eyes

Rabies can be transmitted by domestic animals such as pets or livestock, or wild animals. In North America, rabies is most often transmitted by bats, foxes, skunks and raccoons.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) works with health care providers to reduce the risk of rabies in humans by investigating exposures to animals. TPH also works with Toronto Animal Services, neighbouring health units, and various provincial agencies to reduce the risk of rabies in Toronto.

Further information for health care providers can be found on TPH’s Health Professionals webpage.