YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County Public Health will be teaming up with the state health department and USDA to place oral rabies vaccine-laden baits in 14 Ohio counties, including Mahoning County.
The goal is to make wild raccoons immune to rabies and prevent the spread of rabies in Ohio. The ORV bait will be dropped by aircraft and helicopter between August 2 and 24. The vaccine is contained in a blister pack that is coated in vegetable fat and a sugar vanilla attractant.
There is no exposure risk in handling intact bait, but MCPH encourages anyone who handles the rabies vaccine bait to thoroughly wash their hands after.
MCPH asks anyone who finds the ORV bait to not remove it from an animal’s mouth. Ingesting the vaccine will not harm pets, but vomiting the plastic sachets and diarrhea from the vaccine coating have occurred in dogs that have eaten multiple ORV baits.
MCPH says baits can be moved from any area where a pet could eat them and encourages people to pick them up with gloves or paper towel.
MCPH encourages anyone who may have skin, eye or mucous membrane contact with the vaccine — including those who have exposed cuts, are pregnant or are immunocompromised — to see a doctor if they develop a rash, fever, sore throat, conjunctivitis, vomiting and/or diarrhea within three weeks of exposure.
The blister packs do not contain live rabies virus.