Rabies is a zoonotic disease that is most often transmitted through infected saliva that enters the body by way of an animal bite. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and is fatal once symptoms start to occur. Initial symptoms are characterized by a headache, fever, malaise and pain or itching at the site of the animal bite. It is extremely important to report animal bites and to seek medical attention in a timely manner if bitten by a wild or unvaccinated animal or bat so the potential risk of rabies can be assessed and if appropriate, rabies post-exposure prophylaxis can be administered.

Page last updated: 2/23/2022

World Health Association FAQ about Rabies