Rabies is a viral disease of the nervous system which can infect humans through the saliva of infected animals. Animals that may carry the rabies virus are dogs, cats, bats, raccoons, coyotes, foxes, and skunks. Rabies is passed to humans from rabid animals through bites or saliva entering an open wound. Even after exposure, rabies is preventable if given proper medical treatment. Public Health Solutions Health Department will help citizens, concerned about the disease due to exposure, with understanding animal testing steps and to confirm if exposure to rabies was likely and if so proper medical treatment can be sought.
- Visit your veterinarian with your pet on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all cats, ferrets, and dogs.
- Maintain control of your pets by keeping cats and ferrets indoors and keeping dogs under direct supervision.
- Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or vaccinated regularly.
- Call animal control to remove all stray animals from your neighborhood since these animals may be unvaccinated or ill.
- Teach children to never tough or attempt to catch wild animals.
- Know where your children visit and make sure adult supervision is provided when they are in contact with pets that are not known to you.
For more information on rabies, visit www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html
If you have been bitten by an animal, wash the wound thoroughly and seek medical attention immediately. To speak with a disease surveillance staff member, please call Public Health Solutions at 402-826-3880.