a headshot of Prof. Scott Weese
Prof. Scott Weese

Prof. Scott Weese from U of G’s Ontario Veterinary College spoke to CBC Windsor about the risks of contracting rabies from wild animals such as raccoons and skunks.

Many residents in Windsor are worried about a spike in rabies cases in nearby Michigan, with several rabid skunks discovered.

Weese, Department of Pathobiology, said the risk of contracting rabies in North America is low, particularly if people stay away from wildlife and vaccinate their pets. But he added residents should always take basic precautions to avoid contact with wild animals.

“There’s always some degree of rabies risk in any area in Ontario,” he said.

Weese is the chief of infection control at OVC’s teaching hospital and holds a Canada Research Chair in Zoonotic Diseases.  His research interests include C. difficile in animals, surgical site infection, antimicrobial resistance and emerging diseases.

Last summer, he contributed a commentary to Conversation Canada that explained how rabies spreads and how to protect against it.