McCreary County Record:
Douglas County Takes Action to Prevent Spread of Rabies
In an effort to combat the spread of rabies and protect the community, the Douglas County Health Department has launched a new initiative to distribute oral rabies vaccine baits. These baits, which are about the size of ketchup packets, are being thrown out in a 62 square mile area across the county.
This preventive measure comes in response to a recent incident where a kitten in the area tested positive for a rare variant of rabies more than three weeks ago. In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the health department has been actively working to trap and vaccinate raccoons and test for rabies in the eastern part of Douglas County.
“We are taking every possible step to ensure the safety and well-being of our community,” said Dr. Emily Peterson, the county health director. “By distributing these oral rabies baits, we hope to prevent the spread of raccoon rabies in our area.”
The baits are coated in a fish meal attractant and will be strategically placed in grassy areas, woods along fence lines, and in landscaping. This is the first time this type of bait is being utilized in the state, making it a significant step forward in preventing the spread of rabies.
It is important to note that these baits are not harmful to animals or people, including pets and dogs, and are part of a comprehensive strategy to combat raccoon rabies. While the baits are an additional preventive measure, the trapping and testing efforts in the original three mile radius will continue.
If someone comes across a bait, they are advised to use gloves and a plastic bag or paper towel to move it into a grassy area. The health department is available to answer any questions or concerns regarding the bait distribution.
Since the discovery of the rabid kitten, there have been no further cases reported. However, as a precautionary measure, the oral rabies baits are being distributed to prevent any potential spread of raccoon rabies in the area.
Residents are encouraged to be vigilant for warning signs of rabies in animals, including aggression, stumbling or appearing confused, and excessive drooling. If any dead animals are found, it is important to contact the Humane Society for proper handling.
The efforts of the Douglas County Health Department, in collaboration with the CDC and USDA, demonstrate the county’s commitment to protecting the health and safety of its residents. By taking these proactive steps, the community can rest assured that every effort is being made to prevent the spread of rabies.
For any further information or inquiries about the bait distribution, the health department can be contacted directly.