^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^PRESS ABOVE FOR FULL REPORT^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Beginning August 3, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Wildlife Services Program, in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and Ohio local health departments (LHDs) in 13 counties, will begin distributing an oral rabies vaccine (ORV) to immunize wild raccoons. Baiting will occur in Ashtabula, Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Geauga, Harrison, Jefferson, Mahoning, Monroe, Portage, Stark, Tuscarawas, Trumbull counties (see map). Contingent on good weather, the operation should be completed by August 20, 2020.
Patients or clients may call you concerning an ORV bait that they or their pet has found. Although the chance for an exposure incident is considered remote, we want you to be familiar with the product and know what to look for in your patients in the event of a vaccine exposure.
One rabies vaccine formulation, ONRAB® (Artemis Technologies), will be distributed this spring. A second baiting operation will occur in the fall and additional information regarding the fall baiting will be distributed later this summer.
• ONRAB® is a recombinant rabies vaccine, utilizing a live human adenovirus type 5 as the vaccine vector. The vaccine contains Polymyxin B sulphate (15 Units/ml) and Neomycin sulphate (15 Units/ml). The attractant coating contains ~100mg of Tetracycline hydrochloride (biomarker). The vaccine does not contain live rabies virus. The vaccine is contained in a blister pack, covered in a waxy green coating containing vegetable fats and wax and a sugar vanilla attractant. This vaccine has been used successfully in Canada since 2006 and experimentally in the U.S. since 2011 with no reports of adverse incidents in humans. Ohio is one of five states using ONRAB for baiting operations in the U.S. Most people have acquired immunity to adenovirus type 5 in early childhood, but persons who are pregnant or immunocompromised may be susceptible to infection (cold-like infection) if vaccine is introduced into a wound, eye or ingested. Exposure may result in fever, sore throat, headache, or conjunctivitis. Pets consuming numerous baits may experience vomiting or diarrhea that is self-limiting.
There is no exposure risk in handling an intact bait. As a precaution, always recommend that people wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling any rabies vaccine bait.
Below are some additional recommendations for patients or clients finding ORV baits:
• Do not attempt to remove an ORV bait from an animal’s mouth, as you could be bitten. Ingesting vaccine will not harm your pet. Vomiting from the plastic sachets and
diarrhea from the coating of the vaccine have occurred in dogs that have ingested multiple baits.
• Confine your pet and look for other baits in the area. Baits can be removed from the area where your pet could find them and eat them.
• Wear gloves or use a paper towel when you pick up a bait. Although there is no harm in touching an undamaged bait, using these precautions will protect against an unknown exposure to vaccine. Gloves or a paper towel will protect your hands if you have any small cuts.
• Wash your hands and any exposed skin thoroughly with soap and water if there is any chance that the vaccine sachet has been ruptured and its contents have gotten on exposed skin.
• Advise people who have skin, mucous membrane or eye contact with vaccine, as well as those who have exposed breaks in skin, are pregnant, or are immunocompromised to seek medical attention if they experience any rash, fever, sore throat, headache, conjunctivitis, vomiting, or diarrhea within 21 days of the exposure.
In the event of human or pet contact with the bait/vaccine, have the caller contact ODH at 1-888-574-6656 or 614-752-1387. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this important public health effort.
Sietske de Fijter, MS Amber Singh, DVM MPH
State Epidemiologist Public Health Veterinarian
Chief, Bureau of Infectious Diseases Zoonotic Disease Program
Bureau of Infectious Diseases