Rabies

What To Do If You Have Been Exposed:
What is Rabies?

Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. People are exposed to rabies when they are bitten, scratched, or exposed to the saliva of an infected animal. Animals commonly associated with rabies are bats, raccoons, skunks, opossums, foxes, dogs, and cats.

 

The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms

If you believe you have been exposed to rabies, contact your healthcare provider immediately. If it is possible to quarantine the animal that bit or scratched you, you must do so for ten days for observation. Contact Huron County Public Health immediately at 419-668-1652 if the animal dies during the ten day quarantine period, or begins to show signs and symptoms of rabies.

 

If you wish to have an animal tested, wild or domestic, contact Huron County Public Health for further instructions. Live animals may not be tested, the animal must be humanely euthanized. Due to the fact that rabies affects the central nervous system, the head of the animal must remain intact to qualify for testing.