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Get The Facts

Half of the people who die from rabies are under the age of 15.

Rabies is a big problem in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

In the United States, rabies has been reported in every state except Hawaii.

Rabies got its name from a Latin word that means "to rage". That´s because animals with rabies sometimes act as if they are angry.

Rabies attacks the brain and spinal cord. If it is not prevented, it will cause death.

Any mammal can get rabies. It can only be passed to another animal or a person through saliva. You cannot get rabies from blood.

Animals with rabies may act differently. It´s always best to stay away from wild animals and to be careful with other people´s pets.

Cartoon drawing of a syringe If you are bitten, have someone help you wash out the wound for five minutes with soap and water and then take you right away to a doctor. If there´s a chance the animal has rabies, your doctor will want to give you the rabies vaccine to make sure you don´t get rabies, too.

To prevent rabies:

  • vaccinate your dogs, cats and ferrets against rabies;
  • keep your pets under your supervision so they don´t catch rabies from a wild animal;
  • don´t handle wild animals and if you see one acting strangely, call your local animal control officer;
  • if you´re bitten by an animal, wash the wound with soap and water for at least five minutes, and then go see your doctor; and
  • have your pets spayed or neutered so they´ll be more likely to stay home.

Want to help "Make Rabies History"? Check out how you can participate in World Rabies Day.

Rabies is a serious disease that is caused by a virus. This year, over 59,000 people will die from rabies. That's one person every 9 minutes.

Rabies is 100% preventable. Animals can be vaccinated and people who have been bitten can receive vaccines to fight the disease. The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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