Biology undergraduates William Gerardi and Sara McBride and biology professor Tom Simmons participated in the Allegheny County Health Department’s (ACHD) Raccoon Oral Rabies Vaccination (ORV) hand-baiting program on August 13, 2015.
After being trained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, the IUP biology team distributed 3,000 baits in the municipalities of Cheswick, Harmar, and Springdale.
The ACHD’s program is part of a larger management program to reduce raccoon rabies in western Pennsylvania counties and prevent it from spreading further westward. Human exposure is a concern because the disease infects other wildlife and pets. Participation in the ACHD-ORV program provided Gerardi and McBride with community
service experience addressing this public health risk.