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Celebrate World Rabies Day – September 28

September 28, 2019 is the 13th World Rabies Day since the global day of action first started in 2007. This year’s theme focuses on vaccination, the foundation of all rabies control efforts.

The Wildlife Services’ National Rabies Management Program helps to protect public and   animal health and reduce the costs of living with rabies through its efforts to vaccinate   raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and mongooses. The NWRC Rabies Project supports   the national program by studying the behavior, ecology, movement, and populations of   raccoons and other wildlife hosts. They also evaluate methods and techniques for   vaccinating wildlife against rabies to decrease the spread of the disease in the wild.

Recent research accomplishments include the following:

  • ONRAB for Raccoons— A 3-year field trial by NWRC researchers found Ontario Rabies Vaccine Bait (ONRAB) boosted the prevalence of the rabies virus-neutralizing antibodies in raccoons from 27 percent to 68 percent.
  • Oral Rabies Vaccine Bait Flavors for Skunks— NWRC research showed that skunks preferred chicken-, cheese-, and egg-flavored baits over the plain-flavored ONRAB bait, and that high doses of the vaccine was needed to protect skunks.
  • Biomarkers for Mongoose— NWRC research tested the effectiveness of two biomarkers (ethyl-iophenoxic acid and methyl-iophenoxic acid) in placebo ORV baits to estimate bait uptake by captive mongooses.
  • Rabies Surveillance Strategies— NWRC research is helping to determine when raccoon rabies is eliminated from an area, thus aiding in the strategic placement of ORV management zones and the efficient allocation of surveillance resources.

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