Texas air drop program targets rabies, skunks

HOUSTON (AP) — Texas health officials have begun dropping vaccine packets from airplanes to help wipe out rabies in skunks.

The Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/LeMnKh ) reported Sunday that parts of 17 counties in eastern and central parts of the state are being targeted this month. Each vaccine is the size of a fast-food ketchup packet and coated with fish meal to get skunks to eat the bait.

Efforts in past years by the Texas Department of State Health Services cracked down on fox and coyotes. Dr. Tom Sidwa, who's the state public health veterinarian, says the skunk strain is causing a majority of the Texas rabid animal cases.

The 17 counties are Austin, Bastrop, Brazos, Burleson, Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend, Grimes, Houston, Lavaca, Lee, Madison, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, Washington and Wharton.

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Online:

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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