RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING REPORTABLE DISEASES
Mississippi State Department of Health
August 1, 1990
Class I case report required.
Control in Animals
The Mississippi State Department of Health subscribes to the Compendium of Animal Rabies Vaccines, parts I, II, and III, prepared annually by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians. The provisions of this compendium have been endorsed by the CDC, U.S. Public Health Service; Department of Health and Human Services; the American Veterinary Medical Association; the Conference of State and Territorial Epidemiologists; and other public and private agencies. The following are taken from this compendium.
All animal rabies vaccines are restricted to use by or under the supervision of a veterinarian or person specifically licensed by the State Board of Health to administer rabies vaccine.
The current Compendium lists vaccines licensed for use in the United States. Only licensed vaccines shall be used.
Route of Inoculation
Unless otherwise specified by the product label or package insert, all rabies vaccines must be administered intramuscularly at one (1) site in the thigh.
Vaccination of wildlife is not recommended since no vaccine is licensed for use in wild animals. Offspring of wild animals bred with domestic dogs or cats are considered wild animals.
Identification of Vaccinated Dogs
The following standard certificate and tag system shall be used in the State of Mississippi Veterinary Practitioners and Rabies Control authorities are encouraged to specify a supply of the standardized tags and certificates when rabies vaccine is ordered. Standardized tags can help a bite victim identify the vaccination status of an animal that cannot be apprehended. Dog license tags should not conflict in shape and color with rabies tags. The schedule for shapes and colors will be repeated commencing in 1994. It is suggested that two hole attachments be provided in tags of.064 inches of thickness or greater. Tag colors and shapes by year are as follows:
Calendar Year: 2002
Veterinarians and others licensed to administer rabies vaccine shall use the NASPHV Form Number 50, Rabies Vaccination Certificate. Vaccine manufacturers are expected to supply this form with shipments of rabies vaccine. Computer generated forms containing the same information as NASPHV Form Number 50 are acceptable.
All dogs shall be vaccinated against rabies at three months of age, revaccinated one year later and every three years thereafter, using a rabies vaccine approved as providing a 3– year immunity.
All cats shall be vaccinated against rabies at three months of age and revaccinated one year later and every three years thereafter using a rabies vaccine licensed for use in cats and approved as providing a 3-year immunity.
Vaccination is not required.
Other Animals (Animals Maintained in Exhibits and in Zoological Parks)
Exhibit animals susceptible to rabies, especially those carnivores having contact with the viewing public, shall be quarantined for a minimum of 180 days.
There is no rabies vaccine licensed for use in wild animals. Pre-exposure rabies immunization of animal workers at such facilities is recommended and prevents the needless sacrifice of valuable animals for rabies testing after they have bitten a handler.
Any domestic animal that is bitten or scratched by a wild, carnivorous mammal or a bat not available for testing should be regarded as having been exposed to a rabid animal.
Dogs and Cats
If bitten by or otherwise exposed to a rabid or suspected rabid animal, an animal that is currently vaccinated should be revaccinated immediately and confined and observed for 90 days. Unvaccinated dogs or cats bitten by rabid or suspected rabid animal should be destroyed immediately. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the unvaccinated animal should be placed in strict isolation for six months, in a manner acceptable to the local health officer, and be vaccinated one month before being released.
All species of livestock are susceptible to rabies infection; horses and cattle appear to be among the most susceptible of all domestic animal species, Livestock bitten by a rabid or suspected rabid animal and currently vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the USDA for that species should be revaccinated immediately and observed for 90 days. Unvaccinated livestock bitten by rabid animals should be destroyed (slaughtered) immediately. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal should be placed in strict isolation for six months. Regarding the management of livestock exposed to rabid animals, the following recommendations and considerations are suggested:
1. The exposed animal can be safely killed and its tissues eaten without risk of infection if the animal is slaughtered within seven days after being bitten. Persons who slaughter and skin exposed animals should wear gloves and perform their duties with care to prevent possible exposure from the wound area. Liberal portions of the tissues in the area of the bite should be discarded. The remaining muscle tissues of the animals are considered safe to eat.
2. No tissues or secretions from a clinically rabid animal should be used for human or animal consumption; however, pasteurization temperatures will inactivate rabies virus. Therefore, drinking pasteurized milk, or eating meat that has been completely cooked, from a rabid animal does not constitute a rabies exposure.
Management of Animals that Bite Humans
Dogs and cats suspected of having rabies or having bitten a person shall be confined for 10 days in a manner acceptable to the local health officer or his or her designee and evaluated by a veterinarian at the first sign of illness during confinement. If signs suggestive of rabies develop, the animal shall be humanely killed and its head removed and shipped under refrigeration to the State Department of Animal Health Laboratory for examination. Any stray or unwanted dog or cat that has bitten a person may be killed immediately and the head submitted as described above for examination. Because the period of rabies virus shedding in infected wild or exotic animals (including ferrets) is unknown, confinement and observation of such animals that bite humans is not recommended. Wild carnivorous animals kept as pets and exotic animals (including ferrets) which bite or otherwise expose humans shall be killed immediately and the head removed and submitted as described above for examination. Bats and wild carnivorous mammals that bite people should be killed and sent to the State Department of Health Laboratory for examination for rabies.
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Columbus Lowndes Humane Society
50 Airline Road
Columbus, MS 39701