Rabies vaccine to be air dropped on Tennessee border counties

Rabies vaccine to be air dropped on Tennessee border counties

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NASHVILLE (WATE) - The Tennessee Department of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture are working together again this fall to help prevent rabies by dropping rabies vaccine packets for wild raccoons along Tennessee's borders with Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

The vaccine packets are placed inside fishmeal blocks or coated with fishmeal as bait to attract raccoons in an effort to create a barrier against the spread of rabies.

The bait will be distributed by helicopter and by hand from vehicles in urban and suburban areas and dropped from specially-equipped airplanes in rural areas. Officials say this is the first time helicopters have been used to distribute the bait in Tennessee.

The vaccine will be distributed in Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hawkins, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties from Oct. 1 through Oct. 11.

Distribution will run Oct. 3 through Oct. 16 in Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe and Polk counties.

Though officials say the vaccine is safe, the USDA Wildlife Services program says to exercise caution if you find any of the bait packets and keep your pets and children away from them.

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