Rabies vaccine baits to be distributed in Jefferson County

Photo of the rabies vaccine bait which will be distributed in Jefferson County.
Photo of the rabies vaccine bait which will be distributed in Jefferson County.(Source: WWNY)
Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 12:38 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The annual distribution of rabies vaccine baits will get underway in Jefferson County Friday, weather permitting.

The Wildlife Services program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will distribute oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits by air throughout Jefferson County beginning August 11 through August 24, according to a press release Monday.

When raccoons, foxes & 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. Distribution of baits is weather-dependent and inclement weather may result in extended bait distributions.

Each vaccine-containing 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:

- 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 315-786-3730 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.

Always notify your medical provider or JCPHS if you are bitten by a pet or wild animal. It is also essential for people to make sure their pets are up to date with their rabies vaccinations.

JCPHS is hosting rabies vaccination clinics on Tuesday, August 8th from 6:00 – 8:00pm at the Adams DPW Garage, and on Thursday, August 17th from 6:00 – 8:00pm at the City of Watertown DPW.

More details on clinics can be found at www.jcphs.org and on www.facebook.com/JCPHS.