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Curbing Rabid Raccoons

Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 10:47 AM

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More than $200,000 is being spent in the next few weeks in Northeast Ohio to curb rabid raccoons. ideastream Health Reporter Lisa Ann Pinkerton has more.

A new strain of raccoon rabies surfaced in Ohio in 2004, when it crossed over an immune barrier the state had established with traditional rabies vaccine over the past nine years. Christopher Weiss is a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Health and he says the state vaccinates Lake, Geauga, Cuyahoga and northern Portage and Summit Counties every fall. This spring program is specific to preventing rabid raccoons.

Christopher Weiss: And it appears to be working. In 2006 there were 10 rabid raccoons confirmed in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga and that’s down from 34 in 2005.

This week, planes are dropping ketchup sized packets of vaccine in rural areas. In more urban settings, fishmeal pellets two inches long are being hidden in deep brush. Intact baits are not harmful to humans. Punctured ones should be discarded carefully and those found in the open should be thrown into deeper cover. Lisa Ann Pinkerton, 90.3.

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