Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rabies Bait

Raccoons carry rabies. So the State of Florida and local counties have a program of flying over the County and dropping Oral Rabies Baits called RABORAL V-RG. You may have heard planes flying very low in the middle of the night. They were dropping these.

Here is what the bait looks like.

RABORAL V-RG® is a recombinant vaccine that has been approved for the oral immunization of raccoons and coyotes against rabies. The recombinant vaccine is encased inside a plastic packet. The packets, also called sachets, are encased inside solid fishmeal baits or the sachets are simply covered in a fishmeal-based coating. These bait units, each containing a single dose of RABORAL V-RG, are distributed into wildlife habitat, where they are sought out and eaten by raccoons and coyotes.

RABORAL V-RG® immunizes the raccoon or coyote as the sachet is consumed during the eating process. The vector-vaccine virus infects the oral tissues and produces an immune response against rabies. The vaccine is produced using a Vaccinia virus that has been attenuated and contains only a small portion of the genetic material of the rabies pathogen, not the complete rabies virus. Therefore, it is impossible for this recombinant vaccine to produce the disease it was designed to prevent. RABORAL V-RG® vaccine will not cause rabies. After eating the vaccine, it only takes 10-14 days for a raccoon or coyote to become protected against rabies.

Each year in the United States approximately 12 million doses of RABORAL V-RG® are distributed into wildlife habitats. The vaccine is distributed by airplane, helicopter or by hand to reach the target species. The location and number of baits used depends on the goals of the rabies control efforts. Radio messages, TV announcements and posters are used in communities to alert citizens of upcoming baiting programs. Baits have a toll-free number printed on their surface. When that number is called, the call will be immediately routed to local rabies control program offices. "

What if I find a bait unit? If a bait is found in your yard, driveway, street or other area that is not suitable, you should contact your local public health officials at 1-877-RABORAL (1-877-722-6725). A person under 18 years of age or who is pregnant or immuno-suppressed should not touch the RABORAL V-RG® bait.

What if my dog or cat eats a bait unit? Since the bait units are manufactured to attract wild animals, they might also attract dogs and cats. The bait itself is made of fishmeal and other materials and does not contain vaccine, the vaccine is in the polymer sachet. Most domestic cats cannot penetrate the polymer bait, thus rarely eat the vaccine container. Remember you should never attempt to take a bait away from your pet, as you may be bitten. Should your pet eat the RABORAL V-RG® bait unit in its entirety, it has been demonstrated safe in more than 50 species of animals including dogs. Please note that if your pet has eaten a bait unit, this is not considered to be a vaccination. Please consult your veterinarian for your pet's vaccination needs.

1 comment:

csd said...

My dogs have brought in several of these from our back yard; I keep finding the waxy shell with the pink/red liquid scattered around the house, the yummy(?) outside portion already eaten. No wonder why they have been wanting out more than usual! Manna from heaven!