Douglas County Health Department distributing oral rabies vaccine baits to prevent spread of disease

Title: Douglas County Takes Unprecedented Step to Address Rabies Outbreak

In response to a recent alarming case of rabies in a kitten, the Douglas County Health Department has launched a groundbreaking initiative to prevent the spread of raccoon rabies. To protect both humans and animals, the health department is distributing oral rabies vaccine baits throughout the state. This is the first time such a tactic has been used in Maryland.

The baits, approximately the size of ketchup packets, will be strategically dispersed across a 62 square mile area in Douglas County. Experts hope that by targeting raccoons, the primary carriers of the disease, they can effectively control the outbreak. The baits are coated in a fish meal attractant, making them enticing to these animals. They will be placed in grassy areas, woods along fence lines, and even in landscaping.

Furthermore, the use of vaccine baits will complement other measures taken to combat the spread of the disease. Animal trapping and testing within a three mile radius are additional steps being taken to control the outbreak. While this approach has shown success in vaccinating wildlife on the East Coast, it is the first time it will be employed in the state of Maryland.

It is important to note that these vaccine baits do not pose any harm to animals or humans. Those who chance upon the baits are advised to use gloves and a plastic bag or paper towel if they wish to move them.

Health experts have also emphasized the need for public vigilance in identifying warning signs of rabies in animals. Signs such as aggression, stumbling, confusion, and excessive drooling should alert individuals to seek immediate help. The Humane Society should be contacted if any dead animals are found.

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This proactive approach by the Douglas County Health Department showcases their dedication to ensuring the overall well-being of both animals and human residents. By distributing oral rabies vaccine baits, they hope to contain the outbreak swiftly. With ongoing efforts like this, the community can rest assured knowing that their health and safety remain a priority.

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