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Rabies vaccine for wildlife to be utilized in northern Maine

July 31, 2021 GMT

HOULTON, Maine (AP) — Federal health authorities are going to distribute oral rabies vaccine in parts of northern Maine next month as part of an effort to curb the spread of the disease in wildlife.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the vaccines will be distributed from Aug. 6 to 11 by a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The effort is specifically targeting rabies in raccoons.

The agencies said the vaccines will be distributed by air and ground over a 2,650-square-mile area in communities including Houlton, Mars Hill, Patten and several others. The vaccines are baits coated with fishmeal.

Maine CDC said the baits do not transmit rabies, but humans and pets should leave them undisturbed if they encounter them.

The state CDC also said 37 animals have tested positive for rabies so far this year. The disease has been detected in 10 of the state’s 16 counties.