Our Communities

Early Wildlife Rabies Vaccine Drop Scheduled for Northwestern Vermont

Share article

WATERBURY – For the second year in a row, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services (USDA), in coordination with the Vermont Department of Health, will conduct a spring rabies vaccine bait drop. This special distribution of approximately 264,000 oral rabies vaccine bait in areas of Chittenden, Lamoille, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties was scheduled to begin on May 4. Officials said the extra effort is needed to help counter an ongoing wildlife rabies outbreak, which has expanded into Franklin County.

The early distribution is in addition to the annual bait drop in August. In both rounds, rabies vaccine, in the form of a sweet-smelling oral bait that is attractive to raccoons and skunks, will be dropped from low-flying airplanes in rural areas, by helicopter in suburban areas, and placed by hand from slow-moving vehicles in residential areas.

Rabies is a deadly viral disease of the brain that infects mammals. Without post-exposure treatment, rabies is fatal to both humans and animals. The virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected animal.

In Vermont, rabies is most often seen in raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats and woodchucks. Pets and livestock can also get the disease if they have not been vaccinated for rabies.

Comments are closed.