Rabies Information

  1. Rabies in General
  2. How to Protect Yourself
  3. What To Do If You Are Bitten

Rabies is caused by a virus which can infect all warm-blooded mammals, including man. The rabies virus is found in the saliva of a rabid animal and is transmitted by a bite, or possibly by contamination of an open cut.

Animals Diagnosed with Rabies

About 95% of animals diagnosed with rabies in the United States are represented by:

  • Bats
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Foxes
  • Groundhogs
  • Raccoons
  • Skunks

Domestic farm animals and other wild animals may also become infected. Rodents such as rats, mice, chipmunks, and squirrels are rarely infected.

Behavior of Rabid Animals

Rabid animals are usually either very vicious and aggressive (“furious” rabies) or act stuporously and are partially or totally paralyzed (“dumb” rabies). They often have trouble walking and may appear to be “drunk.” People should stay away from all wild and stray animals which are aggressive or appear to be sick. Some wild animals, such as raccoons, skunks, and groundhogs, may be infectious even though they appear to be normal, and these animals should be avoided at all times.