Fishmeal baits containing the federally-licensed, RABORAL V-RG® rabies vaccine will be distributed from a United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services helicopter in the southwestern portion of Nassau County on Monday and Tuesday, August 17-18, 2015, weather permitting. Cornell University coordinates a cooperative rabies control program with local health agencies and other partners in the Metropolitan NY area. The regional program seeks to prevent the eastward spread of rabies into Nassau and Suffolk Counties, while also striving towards eventual rabies elimination in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Terrestrial rabies cases have not been found in Nassau County since 2007, following distribution of the oral vaccine. A wild animal is vaccinated against rabies when it bites into a bait containing the vaccine.
The RABORAL V-RG® vaccine is not harmful to people, pets or wildlife. However, dogs that consume several baits may develop an upset stomach, with no long-term health effects. Confine dogs and cats indoors and keep your pets on leashes during the bait distribution interval and for one week afterward to increase the likelihood that raccoons will find the baits. Do not risk being bitten while attempting to remove a bait from your pet’s mouth.
Please leave the baits alone if they are observed in the environment. However, if an intact bait is out in the open where pets or children may find it, please toss the bait under trees or bushes while wearing gloves or using a plastic bag. If contact with the bait or vaccine occurs, rinse the area with warm, soapy water, and then call the New York Regional Poison Control Center at 1 (800) 222-1222.
Rabies is a serious viral infection that affects the nervous system of raccoons and other mammals, including people. The disease is usually fatal once clinical signs of infection occur. Distribution of the oral vaccine will help to decrease the chance of human and domestic animal interactions with rabid wildlife. Check your veterinary records to be sure that your pets are current with their rabies vaccinations. The wildlife rabies vaccine is not available to homeowners; the vaccine baits are only licensed for use in state-approved, wildlife rabies vaccination programs.
For additional information regarding rabies and baiting, call Nassau County Department of Health at (516) 227.9663 weekdays from 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM or visit the department website at