The WVU School of Public Health Preventive Medicine residency program is hosting Grand Rounds Friday, September 18 from 2-3 p.m. via Zoom. This session will feature a presentation about the National Rabies Management Program by Chelsea Hartley. Heartly is a rabies technician with the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS).
Rabies is one of the oldest known viral diseases, yet today it remains a significant wildlife-management and public health challenge. Over the past 30 years, rabies management has grown in complexity in the United States, as wild animals, including skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes and bats, have replaced the domestic dog as the primary reservoir for the disease.
The National Rabies Management Program was established in recognition of the changing scope of rabies. The goal of the program is to prevent the further spread of wildlife rabies and eventually eliminate terrestrial rabies in the United States through an integrated program that involves the use of oral rabies vaccination targeting wild animals.
Since 1995, Wildlife Services has been working cooperatively with local, state and federal governments, universities and other partners to address this public health problem by distributing oral rabies vaccination (ORV) baits in targeted areas. This cooperative program targets the raccoon variant, canine variant in coyotes and a unique variant of gray fox rabies.