Rabies is a deadly animal disease caused by a virus. It can happen in wild animals, including raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes, or in dogs, cats or farm animals. People get it from the bite of an infected animal.
In people, symptoms of rabies include fever, headache and fatigue, then confusion, hallucinations and paralysis. Once the symptoms begin, the disease is usually fatal. A series of shots can prevent rabies in people exposed to the virus. You need to get them right away. If an animal bites you, wash the wound well; then get medical care.
To help prevent rabies:
- Vaccinate your pet. Rabies vaccines are available for dogs, cats and farm animals
- Don't let pets roam
- Don't approach stray animals. Animals with rabies might be aggressive and vicious, or tired and weak
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Rabies (World Health Organization)
- Rabies Exposure: When Should I Seek Medical Attention? (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Rabies: Questions and Answers (Immunization Action Coalition) - PDF
Diagnosis and Tests
- Rabies: Diagnosis in Animals and Humans (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Learning about Bats and Rabies (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Rabies: What If I Receive Treatment Outside the United States? (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Travelers' Health: Rabies (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- How Is Rabies Transmitted? (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Incorporating environmental heterogeneity and observation effort to predict host distribution and...
- Article: Third-generation rabies viral vectors allow nontoxic retrograde targeting of projection neurons...
- Article: An mRNA vaccine against rabies provides strong and durable protection in...
- Rabies -- see more articles