(WKBN) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is conducting vaccine drops to combat wildlife rabies in Ohio and surrounding states.
The USDA is working with several agencies and local health departments to distribute the bates to wildlife in parts of eastern Ohio and surrounding states.
The distribution will include large rural portions of Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning, Stark, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas and parts of Belmont, Geauga, Harrison, Lake, Monroe, and Portage counties.
The baits are distributed using fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters, or from vehicles on the ground.
This effort seeks to prevent the westward movement of the rabies virus, most often spread by raccoons, by creating a barrier along the Appalachian Mountains from the Canadian border to Alabama.
It will take place early to mid-August, approximately August 11-20.
Approximately 888,000 baits will be distributed by the airplanes in rural areas of eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and the panhandle of West Virginia, including over 700,000 baits in Ohio alone.
Baits also will be dispersed by helicopter in urban and suburban areas of eastern Ohio during the first week of August, including Cortland, Warren, Youngstown, Alliance, Canton and New Philadelphia.
Staff will distribute baits by vehicle in a number of towns, including Ashtabula, Conneaut, East Palestine and Hubbard.
For more information about the National Rabies Management Program, visit the USDA’s website.