PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rabies vaccination baits for raccoons will be distributed throughout Allegheny County this month.READ MORE: High School Spring Sports Kick Off After Being Canceled Last Year During Pandemic's Start
The Allegheny County Health Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services will place more than 300,000 baits in all 130 municipalities across Allegheny County between Aug. 3 and Aug. 17.
The baits will also be placed in select parts of Beaver County and Washington County.
Plastic packets containing the vaccine are enclosed in fishmeal-scented blocks to attract raccoons and inoculate them with the rabies vaccine. The baits will be placed in raccoon habitats to reduce the chances of human exposure to the vaccine.READ MORE: Pittsburgh-Area Caregivers Asking Lawmakers To Increase Minimum Wage End 48-Hour Fast
The baits are not harmful to pets, but pet owners are asked to keep their pets on leashes when out or keep them indoors or confined to their property as much as possible during the next two weeks.
Allegheny County residents should avoid contact with the baits and the liquid vaccine inside. Anyone who does touch the bait or vaccine should immediately wash their hands and any other exposed skin with soap and water.
Eleven rabid animals have been reported in Allegheny County so far this year, including four raccoons, five bats, a groundhog and a fox.
This is the 17th year for the Allegheny County Health Department’s annual raccoon rabies baiting program. For more information, visit www.achd.net/raccoon.MORE NEWS: Westmoreland County Leaders Say They're Getting Less Vaccine Than Smaller Counties
Anyone who sees an animal that appears to be acting strange or threatening should contact local animal control service, the police or the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Anyone who is bitten, scratched or exposed to the saliva of a stray animal should immediately clean the area with soap and water, seek emergency medical treatment and call the Health Department at 412-687-2243.