What materials can spread rabies?
Rabies virus is transmitted through saliva and brain/nervous system tissue. Only these specific bodily excretions and tissues transmit rabies virus. If contact with either of these has occurred, the type of exposure should be evaluated to determine if postexposure prophylaxis is necessary.
Contact such as petting or handling an animal, or contact with blood, urine or feces does not constitute an exposure. No postexposure prophylaxis is needed in these situations.
Rabies virus becomes noninfectious when it dries out and when it is exposed to sunlight. Different environmental conditions affect the rate at which the virus becomes inactive, but in general, if the material containing the virus is dry, the virus can be considered noninfectious.
- Page last reviewed: April 22, 2011
- Page last updated: April 22, 2011
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