Planes resume aerial raccoon vaccination

COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Department of Health has resumed its aerial raccoon vaccination baiting program.
The baiting areas include all of Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Ashtabula and Jefferson counties and parts of Carroll, Harrison, Belmont and Monroe counties.
The fall program began Monday, but was halted when the Federal Aviation Administration halted flights because of the terrorist attacks.
An ODH spokesman said that in light of the attacks the departments wants to alert people they may see low-flying aircraft.
The bright yellow, twin-engine propeller aircraft will drop the oral vaccine through the weekend and up to Sept. 28.
"Due to the national tragedies this week, we understand that people will be acutely aware of any and all air traffic," said Dr. J. Nick Baird, director of the ODH.
"Residents should be assured that these bright yellow planes are working to complete a very important health function," he said.
This is the 11th time ODH has conducted oral rabies vaccination baiting in an attempt to eliminate persistent raccoon rabies in the northeast part of the state.
The last reported case of raccoon-strain rabies occurred in November 1999 in Trumbull County.

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