The Arctic variant of rabies virus has been maintained in striped skunks in small foci in southwestern Ontario, Canada, despite the control of the disease in red foxes. To control the disease in skunks, high-density baiting with ONRAB® oral rabies vaccine baits was conducted by air and by hand distribution of baits in the vicinity of skunk cases. During 2009, antibody prevalences in skunks were higher in areas baited at a density of 300 baits/km2 and flight-line spacing of 0.25 km than at 0.5-km spacing. Once an area containing Arctic-variant cases was treated with high densities of ONRAB baits, the disease did not reoccur in skunks in those areas. During 2009, only eight skunks were diagnosed with the Arctic variant of rabies virus in Ontario.
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Vol. 47 • No. 2