Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wildlife Rabies Won't Cross Vaccination Barrier Zones In New York, Vermont

Date:
August 28, 1997
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
The northward spread of raccoon rabies can be halted by vaccination barrier zones, veterinarians and wildlife biologists at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine are predicting.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- The northward spread of raccoon rabies can be halted byvaccination barrier zones, veterinarians and wildlife biologists at theCornell University College of Veterinary Medicine are predicting.

A preliminary assessment of vaccine trials in New York, Vermont and Ohio,where oral vaccines are dropped from aircraft into raccoon rabies-freeareas, points to the barrier zone strategy as the most promising way toprevent further spread of the disease, the Cornell experts say. But thevaccination barrier should be extended across northern New Hampshire andMaine, they recommend, before treating East Coast states that already areinfected with wildlife rabies.

"The vaccination barriers appear to be holding," said Donald H. Lein,D.V.M., Ph.D., director of the Diagnostic Laboratory at the CornellUniversity College of Veterinary Medicine, where the anti-rabies campaignfor the Northeast is based. "We're ready to establish the same kind ofbarriers in Maine and New Hampshire. This problem calls for a regionalapproach, because sick raccoons don't stop at state lines."

Or at international borders, either. That's why Ontario and other Canadianprovinces are interested in aiding the U.S. anti-rabies effort, said LauraL. Bigler, Ph.D., coordinator of the Cornell vaccination program. Aparallel effort to vaccinate Canadian foxes has all but eliminated foxrabies from southern Ontario, Bigler reported. Ontario and Quebec haveprovided financial and in-kind assistance to the Cornell project in hopesof keeping raccoon rabies from spreading across the U.S.-Canada border andinfecting Canadian raccoons.

The Cornell wildlife rabies control program uses an oral rabies vaccine,Raboral, that was fully approved earlier this year by the U.S. Departmentof Agriculture's Center for Veterinary Biologics. Capsules of the vaccineare concealed in flavored baits that are dropped from aircraft ordistributed by hand in populated areas. Besides raccoons, the same vaccinehas been shown to control rabies in coyotes as well as red and gray foxes.

Cooperation of several federal, state, county and provincial agencies wasrequired to initiate the rabies-control programs in strategic regions ofNew York and Vermont. Beginning in 1995, Cornell developed a regionalrabies-control strategy for raccoons in the Northeastern United States.

A vaccination zone also has been established in Ohio, said Bigler, whoassisted the effort in that state. "But additional zones are required inMaine and New Hampshire to complete the barrier strategy. Then we canbegin the second phase, gradually moving the vaccination zones southwardinto infected areas to attempt to eliminate this disease altogether," shesaid.

Raccoon rabies was first diagnosed in the United States in Florida in 1947.The viral disease made a great leap northward in the late 1970s, when anestimated 3,500 raccoons were transported from Florida to Virginia. Sincethen, raccoon rabies has spread to parts of every eastern state, from Maineto Florida.

Although coyote rabies is found in Mexico and fox rabies occurs in Canada,neither country has reported the raccoon variant of rabies, Bigler noted,and the Appalachian Mountains serve as a natural barrier to contain raccoonrabies to the East. Consequently, the elimination of raccoon rabies from arelatively small area, the East, may be possible with vaccination, she said.

Compared with the cost of treating rabies in the United States, anestimated $200 million to $1 billion a year, the cost of preventing raccoonrabies is much less but it is not inconsequential, Lein said.

"The vaccine baits are expensive. That's why we're fine-tuning our programby using the smallest possible number of baits per square mile andvaccinating annually, in the fall instead of twice a year to keep theoverall costs as low as possible. We also need to test different baits tosee if there are any 'raccoon favorites,' while also collecting informationabout how far apart the baits can be placed. In the long run, we predictthat a coordinated, unified program to eliminate raccoon rabies will bemuch less expensive than individual state and provincial initiatives thatare performed in isolation," Lein said.

Lein, the Cornell Diagnostic Laboratory director, called for congressionalaction to appropriate federal funds through the Animal Damage Control unitof the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Thatunit, in cooperation with USDA Veterinary Services, universities, producerorganizations, federal and state agencies, already administers eradicationprograms for other diseases that impact people, domestic animals andwildlife, such as brucellosis, tuberculosis and pseudorabies, Lein observed.

"USDA-APHIS-ADC should be granted the authorization and fiscal resources toproceed to carry out their mandate to control this disease withestablished, coordinated programs such as the Cornell control program forraccoon rabies," Lein said. "Vaccination of wildlife will protect people,pets and livestock from this fatal disease."

-30-


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Wildlife Rabies Won't Cross Vaccination Barrier Zones In New York, Vermont." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970828001419.htm>.
Cornell University. (1997, August 28). Wildlife Rabies Won't Cross Vaccination Barrier Zones In New York, Vermont. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970828001419.htm
Cornell University. "Wildlife Rabies Won't Cross Vaccination Barrier Zones In New York, Vermont." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970828001419.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins