Raccoon Rabies Vaccine to be distributed by Truck
Mineola, NY - Continuing the effort to eradicate raccoon rabies in Nassau County, Nassau County Department of Health and Cornell University will distribute raccoon rabies vaccine to protect residents from rabies. In response to the finding of several rabid raccoons in Brooklyn, raccoon rabies vaccine will be distributed in several additional communities. The distribution of rabies vaccine is part of a cooperative effort, “Wildlife Rabies Vaccination Program – Metropolitan New York” involving Nassau County Department of Health, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Cornell University and several other agencies
What: Rabies bait*, which is attractive to raccoons and includes a vaccine packet, will be distributed in raccoon habitats which include woods, bushes, streambeds, sewers and other areas.
*There is a label that clearly identifies the bait packet: “Rabies Vaccine Live Vaccinia Vector. Do Not Disturb, Merial, Inc Us Vet Lic. No. 298 1.877.722.6725.”
When: Truck distribution will be conducted September 19 – 23, 2016, weather permitting. Where: The additional areas of baiting will include all or parts of following communities: Atlantic Beach, Cedarhurst, Hewlett, Inwood, Lawrence, Long Beach, Valley Stream and Woodmere.
Why: Eight terrestrial rabies cases were reported in southern Kings County during 2012-2015. Rabies virus has been reported during most years in NYC, presenting a threat of eastward advance into Nassau County. Because of the threat to wildlife and domestic animals from terrestrial rabies, action needs to be taken quickly to prevent rabies from becoming endemic in Nassau County.
How: Raccoons are attracted by the scent of the bait and are immunized when they eat the contents of the vaccine packet.
Recommendations: The New York State and Nassau County Departments of Health recommend:
• To avoid inadvertent contact with the baits, supervise children’s outdoor activities both during and for approximately one week following the bait distribution.
• Keep all dogs and cats indoors or on leashes during the oral bait distribution and for about a week afterwards. This will allow raccoons to eat the vaccine-laden baits and become immunized and will decrease the chance of pets eating the baits.
• The baits are not harmful to dogs or cats, but a pet may vomit if they eat a large number of them. Do not try to remove a packet from an animal’s mouth.