A congressman from California is looking to make rabies vaccines and treatments more affordable after getting bit by a rabid fox.
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Americans know the warning signs in their pets and wild animals for the rabies virus. Now with congressional help the treatments for rabies will become more affordable, and the push to end rabies in the US is underway.
Washington Examiner writes. Five months after being attacked and bitten by a fox near the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Ami Bera is introducing legislation that would reduce the costs of rabies treatment for uninsured people.
The bill, Affordable Rabies Treatment for Uninsured Act, would establish a program to reimburse healthcare providers for administering costly doses of the human rabies immune globulin and rabies vaccine to people not covered by a health insurance plan.
This news comes as Americans discovered they have a rabid raccoon problem.
The Atlantic writes. The U.S. government has been immunizing raccoons for the past 30 years in an unusual and elaborate campaign. In collaboration with local agencies, the USDA drops millions of oral rabies vaccine packets over the U.S. every summer and fall. There are two flavors of vaccines: fish meal and vanilla. Upon biting into the packet, the liquid vaccine coats the raccoon’s mouth, immunizing it against rabies. Now that we’ve unwittingly helped unleash rabies on raccoons, we’re trying to protect them. Mass immunization is one of the gentlest management strategies for dangerous wildlife.
In the Southwest, rabies has already been eliminated from coyotes and foxes through a similar vaccination campaign. In addition, it has pushed back the northern front of rabid raccoons in Maine from Canada. In the short term, USDA national rabies-management coordinator Richard Chipman says, the goal is to prevent rabies from spreading farther north or west. By 2063, we want raccoons to be rabies-free.
Rabies is terrifying. Horror movies have been made about rabies infected animals, and zombie movies have been created based on the virus. It is a pretty scary bug, but with the help of Congressman Ami Bera hopefully the movie situations will never happen.
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