Genetically engineered viruses, distributed from the air by government officials!

Don’t be alarmed, it’s just the Department of Agriculture’s multi-state oral rabies vaccine program. Targeted to raccoons, foxes and coyotes, it involves spreading bait (fishmeal or dog food) containing hidden vaccine packets. The vaccine is a live recombinant vaccinia virus with a gene encoding rabies glycoprotein.

This MMWR report details the second human case of vaccinia infection from contact with vaccine bait. In both human cases, contact occurred after a dog got into the bait and punctured the vaccine packet. This particular case was pretty scary, given that the infected person was immunocompromised from treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

A photo of the rash, from the MMWR report:


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