Niagara County to spread baits aimed at protecting animals from rabies

File photo of a raccoon. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — Health officials are starting a month-long campaign to help keep rabies from spreading in raccoons.

The Niagara County Health Department will start spreading out special baits that contain the rabies vaccine.

Senior Public Health Sanitarian Peter Tripi said “Rabies remains a very serious disease as it is nearly always fatal once symptoms are evident. Coordinated efforts such as this are a vital way to protect Erie County residents and their pets from contact with potentially rabid wildlife. Vaccinating wildlife against rabies is a highly effective way to decrease the risk of exposure to rabies by coming in contact with rabid wildlife.”

(Photo: Erie County Department of Health)

These baits are safe for animals and protect them against the virus. Any person who comes into contact with them should immediately wash their hands. After that, they should call the state’s Rabies Information Line at 1-888-574-6656.

The baits look like this:

(Photo: Erie County Department of Health)

From August 17-20, an aircraft will distribute the baits in rural areas. From Aug. 29 through September 1, baits will be distributed by vehicle.

Finally, from Sept. 1-6, they will be distributed by helicopter in suburban towns and villages, as well as the City of Buffalo.

There will be a free rabies clinic on Sept. 16 at the Town of Lockport Highway Department.

Here is a map showing the vaccination zone:

(Photo: Erie County Department of Health)

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