National Rabies Management Program Overview

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Racoon imageRabies is caused by a virus that infects the central nervous system in mammals.  It is almost always transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.  The majority of rabies cases in the United States occur in wildlife including raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats.  Rabies is invariably fatal, however, effective vaccines are available to protect people, pets and livestock. 

The National Rabies Management Program was established in recognition of the changing scope of rabies.   The goal of the program is to prevent the further spread of wildlife rabies and eventually eliminate terrestrial rabies in the United States through an integrated program that involves the use of oral rabies vaccination targeting wild animals.

Since, 1995, Wildlife Services (WS) has been working cooperatively with local, State, and Federal governments, universities and other partners to address this public health problem by distributing oral rabies vaccination (ORV) baits in targeted areas.   This cooperative program targets the raccoon variant, canine variant in coyotes and a unique variant of gray fox rabies

Rabies Program Information

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Rabies is one of the oldest known viral diseases, yet today it remains a significant wildlife-management and public-health challenge. Rabies affects the central nervous system of unvaccinated animals that are exposed to the virus and is invariably fatal.

 

More about the Rabies Program

Rabies Vaccine Information

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Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) has been in use in the United States since 1990, in Canada since 1985 and in Europe since 1980.   Currently there are 16 states distributing oral vaccines for raccoons in the U.S., while Texas distributes baits for gray fox and coyote.

 

More about Oral Rabies Vaccine

 


 

Last Modified: July 2, 2013