January 6, 2005
What: Texas Department of State Health Services Oral Rabies Vaccination Program airdrop of rabies vaccine to immunize coyotes
When: South Texas project begins at daybreak Friday, Jan. 7
Where: Zapata County Airport (four miles north of Zapata on Highway 16)
Who: Texas Department of State Health Services assisted by Texas Cooperative Extension, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Texas National Guard, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Army Veterinary Laboratory, Texas A&M University System and Dynamic Aviation Group.
Why: Continue to prevent reintroduction of domestic dog/coyote variant rabies into South Texas to protect the public's health
How: Some 700,000 fish meal baits containing an oral rabies vaccine will be dropped from specially-equipped King Air planes from Dynamic Aviation Group, flying at 500 feet. Baits will be dropped over portions of 14 South Texas counties to immunize coyotes against rabies and reduce the threat of the deadly disease to domestic animals and humans.
Counties: Baits will be airdropped over portions of the following South Texas counties: Brooks, Cameron, Dimmit, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, La Salle, Maverick, Starr, Webb, Willacy, Zapata and Zavala.
Web: More information, including project updates, available on the Web at: www.tdh.state.tx.us/zoonosis/orvp
Notes: After the South Texas project is completed, operations will move to Fort Stockton around Jan. 15 and then to Junction around Jan. 22 to airdrop rabies vaccine baits over portions of 32 West-Central Texas counties to immunize gray foxes.
Limited space is available on flights Jan. 10 to accommodate news media. Reporters wanting to fly need to call in advance (see below).
Contacts: Tom Sidwa or Guy Moore , DSHS Oral Rabies Vaccination Program, Operations Trailer, Zapata, 956-765-6187; or Emily Palmer, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7400.