ODH to distribute rabies vaccine baits in northeast Ohio in August

Oral rabies vaccines for wild raccoons will be distributed across several northeast Ohio counties beginning Monday, Aug. 2. Contingent on good weather, the operation should be completed by Aug. 24. 

USDA APHIS’s Wildlife Services Program, in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and several Ohio local health departments, will drop ONRAB® vaccine-laden baits by aircraft and helicopter in the following counties:

  • Ashtabula
  • Belmont
  • Carroll
  • Columbiana
  • Geauga
  • Harrison
  • Jefferson
  • Lake
  • Mahoning
  • Monroe
  • Portage
  • Stark
  • Trumbull
  • Tuscarawas

Patients or clients may call you concerning an oral rabies vaccines (ORV) bait that they or their pet has found. Although the chance for an exposure incident is considered remote, veterinarians should be familiar with the product and know what to look for in patients in the event of a vaccine exposure. 

About the ONRAB “Ultralite” Bait

  • ONRAB® (Artemis Technologies) 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.

Symptoms in People & Pets

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. 

  • Most people have acquired immunity to adenovirus type 5 in early childhood, but persons who are pregnant or immunocompromised may be susceptible to a cold-like infection if the vaccine is introduced into a wound or eye, or is ingested. Exposure may result in fever, sore throat, headache, and/or conjunctivitis.
  • Pets consuming numerous baits may experience vomiting or diarrhea that is self-limiting. 

Recommendations for Clients who Find 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 individual contact ODH at 1-888-574-6656 or 614-752-1387.
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