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Rabies

What is rabies?
Where is rabies found?
How is rabies spread?
How can I keep from getting rabies?
What should I do if I or my child may have been exposed to rabies?
If I’ve been exposed, how can I keep from developing rabies?
What will the Health Department do?
How can I keep my pet from getting rabies?
How can I tell if my pet or another animal has rabies?
Where can I get more information on rabies?

What is rabies?
Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a animal. It affects the central nervous system of mammals, including humans.

Where is rabies found?
More than 90 percent of reported rabies cases occur in wildlife, such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes and bats. Domestic animals, like dogs, cats and cattle, account for less than 10 percent of cases.
Dog showing its teeth
How is rabies spread?
Most often, rabies is spread to humans through the bite of an infected animal. It is possible, but rare, for humans to be exposed to rabies through infected material from a rabid animal, such as saliva, without being bitten. If the saliva gets into a person’s eyes, nose, mouth or wound, infection can occur.

How can I keep from getting rabies?
Be safe when interacting with wildlife:

What should I do if I or my child may have been exposed to rabies?
If you have been bitten, scratched or exposed to an animal’s saliva:

If I’ve been exposed, how can I keep from developing rabies?

Most rabies fatalities have occurred when people fail to seek prompt medical assistance or are unaware of the exposure. When left untreated, rabies can cause neurological disease and death. Death can occur within days of the onset of symptoms.
 
What will the Health Department do?
Once the Health Department has been contacted with pertinent information, they will take steps to:

How can I keep my pet from getting rabies?
Be a responsible pet owner:

How can I tell if my pet or another animal has rabies?
Animals may exhibit any of the following if they are infected with rabies:

Where can I get more information on rabies?
For more information online, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Kentucky Department for Public Health; or 
you can call the Health Department at 859.341.4151.

Sources: Northern Kentucky Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kentucky Department for Public Health