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Facts about Rabies:

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It kills almost any mammal or human that gets sick from it.

The rabies virus is mainly in the saliva and brain of rabid animals. It can be transmitted through a bite or by getting saliva or brain tissue in a
wound; rarely by getting virus in the eye or mouth.

Only mammals get rabies; birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians do not. Skunks, bats, foxes, raccoons, dogs, cats, and some farm animals are most likely to get rabies. Rabbits, squirrels, rats and mice, and small pets like gerbils and hamsters seldom get it.

Rabies can be prevented in cats, dogs, ferrets, and some livestock with a rabies vaccination. For most wild and exotic animals, there are no rabies vaccines available that have been shown to protect them.

At present, there is an oral wildlife rabies vaccine available only to State or Federal Rabies Control Programs. The use of an oral rabies vaccine in an area may decrease the number of rabid animals, but will not eliminate the need for vaccination of pets or other domestic animals.

Last Updated: 07-30-2011

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