USDA dropping rabies baits across eastern Ohio, including Columbiana Co.

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The baits are safe to many animals like dogs and cats

Close-up of raccoon

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COLUMBIANA COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN) – Wildlife Services with the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working with the Ohio Department of Health this month to drop rabies vaccine baits across parts of eastern Ohio.

From May 17 through May 24, planes and helicopters will be dropping the oral baits in Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Stark and Tuscarawas counties.

Residents in Carrollton, Malvern, Minerva, New Philadelphia, Uhrichsville and Waynesburg can expect to see the low-flying aircraft.

They will use an ORV bait called ONRAB, which consists of a blister pack filled with the vaccine and coated with a sweet attractant.

The baits are safe to many animals like dogs and cats.

Humans and pets can’t get rabies from coming in contact with the baits but are asked to leave them alone.

If contact with the vaccine bait occurs, USDA said to immediately rinse the contact area with warm water and soap.

USDA said about 233,100 ORV baits will be distributed and they plan to repeat the effort this August.

It’s part of a larger baiting project in eastern Ohio after rabies-positive animals were reported in Tuscarawas and Carroll counties between 2018 and 2019 in areas where rabies wasn’t previously reported.

USDA said eight raccoons were reported in this part of Ohio within the past three years.

Anyone who encounters a raccoon that is acting sick or behaving unusually is asked to report the animal by calling 330-726-3386 or by contacting your local health department.

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