Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's ... an oral rabies vaccine.

Don't be alarmed if you see tiny packets falling from above on May 7 in Massachusetts. They're being distributed on Cape Cod and the SouthCoast to keep raccoons from contracting rabies.

The Cape Cod & Southeast Massachusetts Rabies Task Force is behind the effort, which will sprinkle the packets via helicopter in Marion, Rochester, Wareham, Middleboro, Lakeville, Carver, Bourne, Plymouth, Kingston, Falmouth and Barnstable.

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There's no need to take cover. According to the task force, the vaccines are being dropped in areas where "terrestrial rabies vectors" such as raccoons, foxes and coyotes spend time, and away from spots where people and domestic animals are likely to find them. If you do see one, however, you should call 877-722-6725 to report where it was located.

The task force stresses that the packets are not harmful to people and domestic pets, though every dose a dog eats is a dose a raccoon doesn't get.

READ MORE: Massachusetts Shoppers Should Check Fridge for Contaminated Beef

On May 6, baits were placed in select locations of Plymouth and Wareham and on either side of the Cape Cod Canal.

Rabies is a disease affecting the brain and spinal cord of mammals. It is caused by a virus and almost always causes death. It commonly occurs in animals but can be spread to humans.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health notes rabies is "fairly common" in Massachusetts:

"Since 1992, more than 5,000 animals have tested positive for rabies in Massachusetts. Most of these cases occurred in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, woodchucks and foxes, but every year some pets (especially cats) and farm animals also get rabies. Fortunately, there is a vaccine to protect dogs and cats from rabies."

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