LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The New York State Department of Health has announced that oral rabies vaccines will be dropped in several Lewis County towns.
The United States Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services will be distributing the bait from August 12 through August 16, weather permitting. The bait will be dropped by low-flying, fixed-wing airplanes over the Black River Valley and will target raccoons, skunks, and other wildlife to help stop the spread of rabies.
The Oral Rabies Vaccine baits are about the size of a single-serving condiment packet, dyed green, and coated with a sweet substance to attract raccoons and other wildlife.
If an individual finds a bait, Lewis County Health advises them to leave it alone, or throw it deeper into the woods if it is intact and out in the open. If it is necessary to touch a bait, the public should wear gloves or use a towel to move them and wash their hands afterwards.
Although ORV baits are not harmful to pets, owners should not attempt to remove the bait from their pet to avoid exposure to the vaccine. If a pet eats the bait, owners should avoid the animal’s saliva for 24 hours, and wash skin or wounds that may have been licked.
Anyone who comes in contact with the liquid vaccine contained within the bait should wash their hands immediately and contact Lewis County Public Health for further guidance.