Wildlife officials trying to curb raccoon rabies will drop vaccine-laced bait into woods over five central Alabama counties by aircraft.
Doctor John Kelliher, a veterinarian with the Alabama Health Department, warns residents not to consume the smelly material. He said a person who eats the bait might have a reaction that would require doctor's care.
The bait looks like two Fig Newtons pressed together. The greenish brown bait is mainly fish meal and oil and contains in its center a plastic packet of the pink liquid vaccine.
The airdrops over Autauga, Coosa, Elmore, Chilton and Dallas counties begin Wednesday. The project is expected to take one to two weeks.
People who touch the bait should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water and call the state Health Department at (800) 677-0939 with any questions or problems in Alabama.
Health officials say of the 66 cases of rabies reported in Alabama last year raccoon accounted for 35 of the positive cases.
On the Net: www.adph.org