Oral rabies vaccine bait program to begin in Jefferson County

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Oral rabies vaccine bait (Jefferson County Public Health Service)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Jefferson County Public Health Service will be working with the Wildlife Services program of the USDA to distribute oral rabies vaccine baits across the North Country.

Baits will be distributed throughout Jefferson County August 6 through August 10, weather permitting. When raccoons, foxes and coyotes eat the bait they become vaccinated against rabies, which helps stop the spread of rabies.

The baiting will be done through both aerial baiting with low flying aircraft and hand baiting in specific areas. Each bait consists of a plastic blister pack coated with a sweet attractant to entice animals.

Follow these simple directions if you find a rabies bait like the one pictured above:

  • Leave it untouched, unless discovered on a lawn or driveway. Instruct children to leave the baits alone.
  • If intact baits are found in areas frequented by pets or children, pick up with paper towel/gloves and toss them into brushy or forested cover.
  • If the blister packet containing the vaccine breaks, the liquid vaccine should be visible. Use gloves to place the bait in a plastic bag. Cover the bait with 1:10 dilution of household bleach, and wipe down affected areas with bleach solution. Place cleaning materials in a bag, and dispose of the bag in regular garbage.
  • If you have contact with any bait, wash with soap and water. Contact the phone number on the bait or call Jefferson County Public Health Service at 315-786-3720 for further guidance.
  • Do not attempt to take baits away from your pet; you may be bitten. The bait is not harmful to your pet. If by chance numerous baits are consumed, your pet may develop an upset stomach. If your pet ingests a bait, avoid getting the pet’s saliva into your eyes, mucous membranes or on skin lesions for 24 hours.

Anyone who gets bitten by a pet or wild animal should notify their medical provider or Jefferson County Public Health. Public Health stresses that it is essential for people to make sure their pets are up to date with their rabies vaccinations.

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