Officials Attack Rabies Problem From The Air

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By Lisa Blackwell

A nationwide program to control the spread of rabies takes off for the first time in the river region.

Officials say it’s been about ten years since the last time they treated wildlife for this dangerous disease but this time they're starting from up above to solve the problem.

Officials are taking to the air to stop a rabies problem on the ground.

United States Department of Agriculture officials are dropping small white packets filled with rabies vaccine from a helicopter across parts of Elmore and Autauga counties. USDA official Jordana Kirby says the packets are covered in fish meal crumbles which attract raccoons and other wildlife.

Jordona, Kirby, Rabies Control Coordinator, USDA, says “Once a raccoon or other wild animal bites into the packet and the vaccine gets into their throat basically it works just like a vaccine would in a person in that it tricks the body into creating an immune response so that an animal will actually develop antibodies to fight against rabies and protect them from getting rabies.”

Authorities are concerned about the virus because they’ve found seven cases of rabies in the area in 2011.

Dee Jones, State Public Health Veterinarian, says the vaccine drop is a part of an effort to keep the virus from spreading west of the Coosa and Alabama River systems.

Dee Jones, State Public Health Veterinarian, says “Normally we would expect to see those kinds of numbers in certain areas of the state but on the north and west side of the river, Alabama River if you will, it’s not normal to see that high of a positive frequency of rabies.

Over the next couple of days, officials will be distributing around 81,000 vaccine packets over a 400 square mile area. After about four to six weeks they will come back to see how effective the vaccination process was.

“We will collect samples from some of the raccoons in the trapped areas and from a blood sample that we take from each of these raccoons we’re able to determine whether they’ve been vaccinated,” said Kirby.

If you or your pet come in contact with the bait and have a reaction, there is an 800 number printed on it that you can call for help. Officials say people should be careful if they come across one of the packets.

“If someone was to encounter a bait the best thing to do is pick up that bait with a towel or disposable gloves and just move the bait away from the area where a pet or child could come in contact with the bait,” said Kirby.

Officials are hoping the packet drop, which has been successful in other parts of the country, will be just as effective here in the river region.

Pet owners should make sure pets are vaccinated for rabies.

To report dead raccoons, foxes, bobcats or coyotes or to report a sick animal, call 888-RABIES4.



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Silvermaven said on Friday, Oct 14 at 9:15 PM

This is insanity at its best. Not one study was conducted to see if the tick that feeds off the animal that ate the baits can now carry the antigen to you with subsequent RSD and Death. It is know that Borrelia have at least 3 prion like proteins found so far that can fold with other infectious proteins to remain infective. Yet NO studies were done to show these results--because they expect to get you and your state to pay for their junk science...Tell them to show you how it behaves in prion and prion like epidemic of Borrelia/Lyme that we know is massively infecting the pop.s in the form of Alzheimers, MS, Parkinsons, Lupus, CFS, GWS, Autism, Lymphoma, etc. etc. etc. Because that is what the proteins do---make infectious genes just look like your own. We now have funding in place to find tests that work...In the meantime stupid must not live here anymore and you must not pay for more junk science.

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Silvermaven said on Friday, Oct 14 at 9:28 PM

STUPID STATE LEGISLATORS WON'T GET RID OF THE TICKS AND MOSQUITOES, LICE AND FLEAS, BUT THEY HAVE NO PROBLEMS LISTENING TO IDIOTS WHO HAVE JUNK SCIENCE TO SELL YOU. AND YOU GET TO PAY FOR YOUR OWN STUPID SYNDROMES WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS. NOW HOW INGENIOUS IS THAT?

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Jenny Allan said on Saturday, Oct 15 at 1:20 AM

I'm afraid that when rabies gets into the wildlife it is there to stay!! You simply cannot kill or immunise every mammalian carrier of the disease. In the UK it is well known that bats carry a rare version of rabies which can be fatal to humans, but thankfully we don't have endemic rabies in our other wild mammals (yet!).

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Silvermaven said on Saturday, Oct 15 at 9:29 AM

No the UK was smart enuf back in the 80's to try to get rid of the proteins by eliminating the cattle they gave it to. 200,000 dead cattle later the US is still stuck with stupid to protect profits. They want you to get your syndrome---Its good for business...The only difference in the syndromes is the infections that are hiding in the proteins. While MS may be but 5 hidden infections. ALS may be 15...Stupid cannot live here anymore...

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