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July 6, 2021 | First Raccoon-variant Rabies Case in over 8 years was Documented in Hyannis

July 6, 2021 – Barnstable, MA | In May, the first raccoon-variant rabies case in over 8 years was documented in Hyannis on Cape Cod. In response, USDA implemented an emergency trap-vaccinate-release (TVR) campaign throughout the mid-Cape to prevent the disease from spreading. Close to 700 unique raccoons were live-captured, vaccinated against rabies, tagged, and released at the site of capture.

To further mitigate the potential for disease spread, the distribution of oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits on the Cape Cod will occur from July 12-23 in the towns of Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, Mashpee, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Brewster, Harwich, Chatham, and Orleans. Approximately 69,900 ORV baits will be distributed Cape-wide; 57,000 will be distributed via helicopter and 12,900 will be distributed by hand (ground vehicles). Aerial operations will begin July 13 and will last for approximately 4 days, weather permitting. Two low-flying federally owned aircraft may be observed by the public during this timeframe. The aircraft will be either red and black or white and orange. Ground operations will be conducted by town, county, and federal employees as well as volunteers and will begin on July 12, continuing for up to two weeks.

For more information about rabies prevention and remediation efforts on Cape Cod, please visit BCDHE’s Rabies Awareness page at