Rabies Vaccine Baiting in Hudson | News
The Summit County Combined General Health District, in collaboration with the USDA Division of Wildlife Services, will participate in a multi-county rabies vaccine baiting operation for raccoons and skunks. This operation is in response to racccoons and skunks testing "positive" for rabies in Northeast Ohio since 2004. The baiting is scheduled for Hudson and other cities now through September 10, weather permitting. The Health District will bait in Hudson in areas north of SR 303.
Two types of baits will be used. One type is a brown square block with a strong odor of fishmeal, an ingredient in animal feed that attracts raccoons. A plastic packet inside the block contains a red liquid with the vaccine. The second type of bait is a new blister pack, made attractive to wildlife by a sweet coating that includes vegetable-based fats, wax, icing sugar, vegetable oil, artificial marshmallow flavor, and dark-green food-grade dye. The vaccine has been successfully used in Canada to vaccinate raccoons, skunks and foxes. An animal is vaccinated by eating the bait. The animal will develop antibodies in two to three weeks. These anitbodies will protect the animal if it is exposed to another infested animal. If enough raccoons and skunks are vaccinated, the disease will be stopped.
The bait is not harmful to people, pets or livestock. It is not possible to get rabies from the vaccine. Since the vaccine contains vaccinia virus, people with eczema and immuno-suppressed conditions may be prone to local infection if the red liquid portion gets into a wound or abrasion. People who touch the bait should wear gloves or use a paper towel or plastic bag, then use soap and water to wash any skin area exposed to the vaccine.
If bait is found near homes, leave it alone if it is unbroken and in an area where pet or child contact is not likely. If the bait is out in the open or where contact by pets or children is possible, put on gloves or use a paper towel or plastic bag and toss it into deeper cover. The bait should not be touched by people less than 18 years of age, pregnant, or immuno-suppressed.
This vaccine is approved only for use in wildlife and is intended for wild animals. A veterinarian, in accordance with state and local regulations, should vaccinate your pet. Pet vaccination is essential to protect your pet against rabies.
Everyone can help by keeping their pets inside or on leashes during the baiting time and about five days afterward. This will help prevent pets from getting the baits and it gives wildlife a chance to eat the baits.
Call the Ohio Department of Health, Rabies Information Line 1 (888) 722-4371 to report any incidents or for further advice.