Rabies vaccines to be air dropped in Erie and Niagara Co.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The fight against rabies is a constant battle. The Erie County Health Department is taking that fight to the skies.

Peter Tripi, the Senior Public Health Sanitarian with the Erie County Department of Health said, “Approximately 400,000 bait packs will be placed throughout Erie County, Erie County Department of Health Vector Control Staff plan on dropping 5,000 to 6,000 thousand by hand”

Over the next couple of days you might see small green packets scattered around the area. Tripi says those baits will help protect wildlife – which will in turn help protect us and our pets.

“The primary target is raccoons, however, raccoons, skunks, and fox are always an issue for us with rabid animals, as well as bats, but a bat cannot eat this vaccination.”

If you come across one of these baits, you should leave them alone, unless they’re in area where children or pets play.

“If you can, use a glove or a stick to kick them back into a wooded area, If a pet comes into contact with it, for example if a dog eats one it’s not going to hurt it, but you can certainly feel free to contact your veterinarian.”

The rural areas will be covered by planes. Helicopters will take care of the suburban areas – and a ground team will place the baits the more urban areas. Niagara County is also undertaking their own drops as well.

Tripi says he wants to remind people that they can help in the fight by getting their pet vaccinated

“It is the law in Erie County, and in New York State, as well as across the nation to vaccinate our pets, that’s why we don’t have people dying of rabies or our pets dying of rabies, because of these mandatory vaccinations.”

For more information on rabies from the Erie County Health Department, go to: http://www2.erie.gov/health/index.php?q=rabies-information

For information about free rabies clinics sponsored by the Erie County Health Department, go to: http://www2.erie.gov/health/index.php?q=free-rabies-vaccination-clinics-0

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