What does the Health Unit do?
A physician, registered nurse in the extended class, veterinarian, police officer or any other person who has information concerning an animal bite or other animal contact that may result in rabies in persons shall as soon as possible notify the medical officer of health and provide the medical officer of health with the information.
A copy of the Animal Bite reporting form can be found here
. If a patient has come in after-hours and there is the possibility of needing vaccine released, the NWHU must be contacted at the after-hours number (807-468-7109).
The Northwestern Heath Unit works with the physicians, patients, and animal owner (if applicable) to complete a risk assessment to determine whether or not rabies post-exposure-prophylaxis is recommended.To assist with your risk assessment of the exposure and information regarding scheduling/dosage of the rabies prophylaxis the PHO has developed a guidance document.Surveillance
There is minimal surveillance data specific to the Northwestern Ontario Region. If any suspect wildlife is found, the Northwestern Health Unit sends the specimen for testing. Since 2014, we have submitted 5 animals for testing. All animals tested negative for Rabies. The NWHU does not do any active surveillance.
To assist with your risk assessment, below are links to surveillance data that is currently being collected:
Manitoba Public Health:http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/diseases/rabiessurveillance.html
Minnesota Department of Health:http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/rabies/statistics.html