This week you might find something unusual in your backyard and officials are warning people not to touch this item.

Officials in Erie County announced that starting this week they will be air-dropping rabies vaccine tablets across the county.


According to their website, helicopters will be the first to make the drop and that will be followed by ground bait distribution.

Helicopter distribution will start around July 30-August 3, depending on weather conditions. Ground bait distribution in urban and suburban areas of Erie County will take place approximately July 29-August 3. Fixed wing aircraft will run from about August 15-17 for counties in Western New York: Erie, Alleghany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming, also depending on weather conditions. Each year, the USDA distributes about one million baits throughout New York.

Do Not Touch these tablets. If you do come in contact with one of these packets, you need to call the NYSDOH Rabies Information Line (888) 574-6656 with questions or concerns.

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Most packets will be eaten by wildlife within four days; almost all baits will be gone within a week. If packets are not found and eaten, they will harmlessly dissolve and the exposed vaccine will become inactivated.

If you must move a vaccine packet, wear gloves or use a plastic bag or paper towel to pick it up. Place any damaged baits in the trash; throw intact baits into a wooded area for wildlife to consume.

If you do touch a bait trap, you should wash your hands immediately and call the NYSDOH Rabies Information Line.

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