- Rabies is a serious disease that is caused by a Bullet-Shaped Virus.
- Any mammal can get rabies. It can only be passed to another animal or a person through saliva. You cannot get rabies from blood.
- Rabies got its name from a Latin word that means "to rage". That´s because animals with rabies sometimes act as if they are angry.
- Rabies attacks the brain and spinal cord. If it is not prevented, it will cause death.
- Animals with rabies may act differently. It´s always best to stay away from wild animals and to be careful with other people´s pets.
- Rabies is 100% preventable. Animals can be vaccinated and people who have been bitten can receive vaccines to fight the disease.
- Half of the people who die from rabies are under the age of 15.
- Rabies is a big problem in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
- In the United States, rabies has been reported in every state except Hawaii.
- Rabies is almost always fatal once the symptoms appear.
- If you are bitten, have someone help you wash out the wound for five minutes with soap and water and then take you right away to a doctor. If there´s a chance the animal has rabies, your doctor will want to give you the rabies vaccine to make sure you don´t get rabies, too.
To prevent rabies:
- Vaccinate your dogs, cats and ferrets against rabies;
- Keep your pets under your supervision so they don´t catch rabies from a wild animal;
- Don't handle wild animals and if you see one acting strangely, call your local animal control officer;
- If you're bitten by an animal, wash the wound with soap and water for at least five minutes, and then go see your doctor; and
- Have your pets spayed or neutered so they'll be more likely to stay home.