COLUMBUS, Ohio (News/Talk 1480 WHBC) – In the air and on the ground, the Ohio Department of Health and USDA begin dropping raccoon rabies vaccination baits in Stark, Carroll, Tuscarawas, Portage and ten other Ohio counties over the next 10 days or so.

There have been just two positive cases of raccoon rabies this year, one of them in Tuscarawas County.

You are reminded to instruct the kids not to handle the baits.

Here’s safety information from the state agriculture department:

ONRAB has been proven safe in many species of animals, including domestic dogs and cats. Humans and pets cannot get rabies from contact with the baits, but people are asked to leave them undisturbed should they encounter them. If contact with baits occurs, immediately rinse the contact area with warm water and soap.

Please keep the following information in mind:

Instruct children to leave the baits alone.
The baits are not harmful to pets. However, it is recommended to keep dogs and cats inside or on leashes for up to five days after baiting occurs to give raccoons and other wildlife an opportunity to eat the baits. Most baits disappear within 24 hours.
Do not try to remove bait from a pet’s mouth to avoid potential injury.
Anyone handling baits should wear gloves. If baits are found in areas frequented by pets or children, toss them into deeper ground cover. Damaged baits can be disposed of in the trash.
If a person is exposed to the liquid vaccine within the bait, thoroughly wash exposed skin with soap and warm water.
Anyone with questions about the baiting can call the Oral Rabies Vaccination Baiting Information Line at (888) 574-6656 or call your local health department.