Ohio starts campaign to fight raccoon rabies

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The state is beginning an effort in the air and on the ground to protect Ohioans from rabies in raccoons.

The Ohio Departments of Health and Natural Resources are scattering a rabies vaccine for raccoons in 14 counties in northeast and eastern Ohio. The region has seen three confirmed cases of rabies in animals this year and confirmed six rabid animals in 2010.

The oral vaccine is contained in fishmeal baits that attract raccoons. Most of the nearly 762,000 baits being distributed in the operation beginning Tuesday are being tossed out of airplanes and are about the size of a ketchup packet. Other, larger baits are being planted in rural areas by people driving around in vehicles.

Rabies is spread by bites and is almost always fatal.

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