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January 24, 2008
Toronto Public Health expands rabies investigation
Toronto Public Health is asking people who touched or purchased puppies at Booth # 1513 at Dr. Flea’s Flea Market since January 5 to call their local public health unit for assessment and advice. These puppies may have been exposed to rabies.

The flea market booth has a sign with the name “Pets R Us.” The vendor has also given out business cards with the name “Feed Me More Pets” and a business location of Chesley, Ontario. Anyone who has purchased puppies from this business at any location since January 3 should also contact their local public health unit.

“Rabies is a rare and very serious condition that, left untreated, is most often fatal,” said Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Associate Medical Officer of Health. “We have had close to 200 calls from the public so far and have been able to locate a number of the puppies sold at the flea market.”

Toronto residents who may have been exposed to any puppies from this business should call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 until 10 p.m. Thursday. The line will re-open at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

York Region residents who may have been exposed to these puppies should call York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 until 8 p.m. Thursday. The line will re-open Friday morning.

Peel Region residents should call 905-799-7700 until 10 p.m. Thursday or Friday during business hours.

Residents who have come into contact with any animals purchased from this business at the flea market or any other location will be assessed and referred for medical treatment if required. Rabies vaccination is extremely effective in preventing illness if taken before symptoms occur. The vaccine is free of charge in Ontario.

There have been no human cases of rabies associated with this investigation.

For more information, visit Toronto Public Health. Rabies information can also be found at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:

Susan Sperling
Media Relations Co-ordinator
Toronto Public Health



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