Rabies vaccine to be distributed in Wareham starting Sept. 19

Sep 2, 2016

The Cape Cod Oral Rabies Vaccination Program will continue on Sept. 19 as baits will be distributed in 14 South Coast towns, Wareham included.

Two types of oral rabies vaccination baits will be distributed: a sachet and a bait block. Both contain the same amount of vaccine. There are 367 bait stations deployed throughout much of Southeastern Massachusetts. Each station will originally contain 60 block baits and will be periodically checked over a three-week period.

Residents are advised that if a vaccine or bait package is found, use a glove or towel to pick it up and place it in a wooded area where children and pets will not find it. If no suitable place is available, dispose of the bait in the trash.

If a pet has eaten or come in contact with a bait package, notify USDA Wildlife Services’ Rabies Program Coordinator Brian Bjorklund at 508-476-2956. While the bait is not harmful to pets, authorities keep track of the baits to test the program’s effectiveness.

Should you or another person come in contact with the liquid vaccine, wash the area thoroughly and call the Department of Public Health at 617-983-6800.

Rabies is present in wildlife in all areas of Southeastern Massachusetts. Do not handle wildlife. If you should come into contact with wildlife, report it to your local animal control.

Also, pet owners are advised to ensure cats and dogs have received their rabies vaccinations.

The Massachusetts Wildlife Rabies Vaccination Project was created to maintain a barrier to keep Cape Cod free of rabies by vaccinating a large number of raccoons in towns surrounding the Cape Cod Canal.

For more information on the Cape Cod Oral Rabies Vaccination Program call 508-476-2956 or visit www.mass.gov/dph/rabies.