Raccoon rabies vaccine packet distribution begins tonight.
Beginning today through Oct 19th, the Nassau County Dept of Health will be distributing by truck packets of rabies vaccine for raccoons in suspected raccoon habitats along streets throughout all of Port Washington and Manhasset.
The packet is clearly labeled: “Rabies Vaccine Live Vaccinia Vector. Do Not Disturb, Merial, Inc Us Vet Lic. No. 298 1-877-722-6725.”
The packets are intended to immunize, not kill, raccoons.
Please see additional guidance from NC Dept of Health below.
Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management
The Department of Health recommends:
- To avoid inadvertent contact with the baits, supervise children’s outdoor activities both during and for approximately one week following the bait distribution.
- Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately in the unlikely event that a child bites through the packet and ingests the liquid, or if there is any human contact with the bait.
- Wash hands immediately before calling to report the exposure if anyone comes in bare-hand contact with the bait (even if the bait is intact.) The bait packet itself will not harm anyone.
- Keep all dogs and cats indoors or on leashes during the oral bait distribution and for about a week afterwards. This will allow raccoons to eat the vaccine-laden baits and become immunized and will decrease the chance of pets eating the baits. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you have seen your pet with bait in its mouth.
- The baits are not harmful to dogs or cats, but a pet may vomit if they eat a large number of them. Do not try to remove a packet from an animal’s mouth.
- Remember that it is not possible to get rabies from the vaccine. The vaccine does not contain the rabies virus. It does contain attenuated vaccinia virus, a weakened version of the virus.
- If residents find bait near their homes, but not in the open, leave it alone. The bait packets have a strong fishmeal smell that is not attractive to people or to most other animals.
- If the bait is intact and out in the open where pets or children are more likely to encounter it, toss it into deeper cover under trees or bushes while wearing gloves or using a plastic bag.
- Residents who see raccoons should NOT try to trap the raccoons themselves. Call a licensed trapper.