Mary Alice Reporting –

Starting today, fall baiting will take place, covering roughly 5,000 square miles, to prevent the spread of the rabies virus.

Rabies can spread to animals and humans through the saliva of an infected animal and the most notable animals to carry the virus include raccoons and bats.

New Philadelphia Health Department Director of Environmental Health Lee Finley explains that, between August 23rd and September 3rd, a five-state rabies baiting will be conducted since raccoons are active this time of year.

“The State has been doing rabies baiting for 20 years and they’ll be starting to do the baiting for the raccoons hoping to stop or slow down the spread of rabies from the Pennsylvania side.”

Counties under the Ohio Department of Health initiative that will drop an estimated 800,000 baits include Tuscarawas, Carroll, Harrison, as well as Stark.

He advises to never go up to a sick or wounded animal and to stay away from animals acting abnormally.

Those blister vaccine packs will be dropped from a helicopter or airplane, and if residents see one, they are asked to leave the vaccine alone.

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