Aerial distribution of rabies vaccine baits starts on south-eastern border 26.9.2012


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The aerial distribution of rabies vaccine baits for small predators along the south-eastern border will start on Wednesday 25 September 2012. According to plans, the distribution of baits is to be completed within four weeks. The flights are scheduled to occur daily between 6 am and 9 pm. Vaccine baits are distributed in an attempt to prevent the possible spreading of forest rabies to Finland.

Vaccine distribution area

The baits will be distributed on the south-eastern border in a 40-km wide zone, excluding waterways, from Ilomantsi to Virolahti, and further in a 20-km wide zone along the southern coast all the way to Pyhtää. The total aerial distribution area is ca. 10,000 km². A total of 180,000 vaccine baits will be dropped in the campaign. 

Baits are not dropped into courtyards, population centres or waterways. Baits that fall near habitation can be moved, wearing protective gloves, to the edge of a forest or some other safe location. Baits found in the terrain must be left alone so that the animals will not refrain from eating them due to human smell.

What to do in a case of accidental exposure to the vaccine virus

The vaccine baits used in the aerial spreading are brown pieces approximately 5 x 4.5 x 1.5 cm in size and about 30 grams in weight, with a strong smell of fish extract. The vaccine inside the bait is in liquid form inside a foil capsule. The vaccine contains attenuated rabies viruses which are not hazardous to animals.

Anyone who accidentally gets the vaccine contained in the foil wrapping on the mucous membranes of their mouth, nose or eyes should rinse the affected areas with plenty of water for 15 minutes. Anyone who is exposed to the vaccine through open wounds or broken skin should rinse the wounds with plenty of water and soap for fifteen minutes and then clean the wounds with 70 proof alcohol. Then they should contact a health care centre.

More samples of small predators needed 

Small predators, such as raccoon dogs and foxes, are being examined in or near the bait vaccination area to monitor the effectiveness of the vaccine baits. In particular, Evira would like to receive samples from the Northern Karelia region. Samples from other areas are needed as well. The samples are sent to Evira's Production Animal and Wildlife Research Unit in Oulu. These examinations are free of charge and the samples can be sent using Matkahuolto parcel services, also free of charge.

Map of the vaccine distribution area

More information about rabies (OIE)

Pictures of the vaccine baits

More information about sending small predators to Evira (In Finnish)

World Rabies Day on September 28th 

For more information, please contact:
Senior Researcher Christine Ek-Kommonen, tel. 050 514 3926 (the aerial distribution of rabies vaccine and rabies diagnostics)
Senior Inspector Tiia Tuupanen, tel. 040 489 3348 (control of animal diseases: rabies)
Researcher Marja Isomursu, tel. 040 512 1248 (examination of wild animals)

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