Health News

Nutrition Tips Winter 2015

Children who have meals with their family not only eat better and are healthier; they learn to socialize and do better in school. Family meals give a time and place to keep up with what is going on with everyone, help each other out, and tell family stories. Enjoying family meals help to keep food in its place as only one of life's great pleasures. Pay attention to the food and enjoy it when it is time to eat, forget about it between times. A rushed morning without breakfast can make eating well challenging. Try these quick breakfast ideas: A long afternoon commute can make eating well challenging. Pack a snack for the afternoon before your ride so you aren’t over hungry when you get home. Healthy food choices at home and at school can help students do better in school and be healthier over all. Part of learning about healthy eating is practicing. If your children’s’ school does not teach food preparation, ask your school administration how you can help to support offering classes. Snack foods like chips, candy, and pop fill children up, but don’t supply any of the nutrition they need to grow and learn. These foods should not be offered in school. Help the school community council and school administration in your children’s school to promote healthy foods in the school.

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Community Advisory: Rabies

The Saskatchewan Government is advising residents of an increase in reported rabies cases in 2016.

While the threat of rabies in Saskatchewan is still low, there has been an increase in reported rabies cases in 2016.

  1. ·       It is critical to keep pets up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations. All dogs, cats and ferrets should be vaccinated regularly, as well as livestock that are in regular contact with people (for example those in petting zoos, pet therapy animals, childrens’ summer camps, and 4-H animals).
  2. ·       Individuals need to take precautions when dealing with animals exhibiting symptoms consistent with rabies, such as neurological problems or abnormal behavior. This may include avoiding direct contact with animals and ensuring pets’ vaccinations are up to date.
  3. ·       All suspected cases of animal rabies should be reported to the provincial rabies hotline at 1-844-7-RABIES.
  4. ·       Provincial rabies programming is in place to protect the health and safety of the Saskatchewan human and domestic animal populations.

Questions and Answers

Q: How many animals with rabies have been found in Saskatchewan in the last few years?

The number of animals found to have rabies in Saskatchewan has varied over the last five years, from a high of 34 cases in 2011 to a low of 13 cases in 2013.

2015 – 23 (9 bat, 2 dog, 12 skunk)
2014 – 20 (9 bat, 1 horse, 10 skunk)
2013 – 13 (6 bat, 2 cat, 5 skunk)
2012 – 24 (5 bat, 1 bovine, 4 dog, 1 equine, 13 skunk)
2011 – 34 (5 bat, 3 cat, 1 dog, 1 equine, 24 skunk)

Q: How many animals with rabies have been found in Saskatchewan so far this year (2016)?

As of July 13, 2016, there have been 18 confirmed cases of rabies in animals.

Q: Have any of the confirmed animals in 2016 had contact with humans?

Exposures to the four domestic animals with rabies have resulted in 25 people receiving post-exposure rabies treatment. These events highlight the risks of rabies to both humans and domestic animals.

Q: Have any of the confirmed animals in 2016 had contact with household pets or farm animals?

Yes; in most cases, an animal is tested for rabies because it has had contact with people or domestic animals, so many of the animals confirmed to have rabies did indeed have contact with other animals. In-contact animals, if vaccinated, are re-vaccinated and placed under observation; if unvaccinated, they are placed under quarantine to ensure that they have not contracted rabies.

Q: What has caused the increase in cases this year?

We don’t currently know what the cause may be.

Q: How many animals with rabies have been found in Canada in the last few years?

In 2015, 151 animals with rabies were found. The number of rabid animals increased in 2015 as compared to previous years due to a reoccurrence of rabies in Ontario and Nova Scotia.

2015 – 151

2014 – 92

2013 – 116
2012 – 141
2011 – 115

Q: Have there been any human rabies cases?

There have been 24 human cases of rabies in Canada since 1924, including three deaths since 2000: one - Alberta (2007), one - British Columbia (2003) and one - Quebec (2000).

There has not been a human case of rabies in Saskatchewan for more than 40 years.

Q: What does the program cost the provincial government?

We have allocated $400,000 cost-shared between the Ministries of Agriculture and Health to deliver the Rabies Response Program.

Q: What are the signs of rabies in an animal?

·       The presence of abnormal behaviour is the key feature in an animal with rabies. For example:

·       Domestic animals may become depressed and try to hide in isolated places.

·       Wild animals may lose their fear of humans and appear unusually friendly.

·       Wild animals that usually come out at night may be out during the day.

·       Animals may have paralysis which commonly affects the face or neck often seen as difficulty swallowing.

·       Animals may become excited or aggressive.

·       Animals may attack objects, people or other animals.


Q: How should the public deal with animals suspected of having rabies?

·       Producers should work with their local veterinarian to ensure their animals are vaccinated and protected against rabies.

·       All suspected cases of animal rabies should be reported to the provincial rabies hotline at 1-844-7-RABIES.

·       Avoid direct exposure to animals suspected of carrying rabies. If a person has been scratched or bitten by an animal suspected of having rabies, the affected area should be immediately washed with soap and warm water and the exposed person should see their family doctor or local emergency room department as soon as possible.


Q: What does the provincial rabies program entail?
The Rabies Response Program consists of veterinary-delivered activities led by a contracted Rabies Risk Assessment Veterinarian.

Activities include the collection and submission of samples by veterinarians for rabies testing, response to positive cases and the operation of a 1-844-7-RABIES reporting line.


Posted July 20.



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