Vaccine packages to be dropped over Stark County to help control rabid raccoons

Vaccine packages to be dropped over Stark County to help control rabid raccoons
File photo. This is not an angry pic of the St. Paul Tower raccoon.(Source: Robert Coggeshall)

STARK COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - A rabies vaccine will be dropped from fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters over parts of Stark County this weekend as part of an effort to control a potentially dangerous raccoon population.

The Stark County Health Department, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Health, will drop the Oral Rabies Vaccine from May 19 through May 24.

Four raccoons tested positive for rabies in Stark County last year, and officials fear the viral disease could spread into new areas of eastern and central Ohio.

According to the health department:

The area to be baited within Stark County includes: line from area within Lake Township to Pike Township and across to the eastern border of Stark County. Carroll and Columbiana counties are included in the bait drop area.

The bait looks like a polyvinyl chloride blister pack with a sweet-smelling dark green waxy coating.

The bait is not harmful to pets, but health officials ask to instruct children to leave the baits alone. Wear gloves if it is necessary to handle the baits. They can be tossed into deeper cover if discovered.

Rabies affects mammals, including humans, and is almost always fatal.

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