Rabies in Wildlife Continues to Pose Risks to Pets and People …

Rabies virus

Image by Sanofi Pasteur via Flickr

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) wants to remind Ohioans that rabies in wildlife continues to pose a risk to pets and people.  Rabies is almost always 100 percent fatal once a person or animal begins to show symptoms.   Protecting pets by keeping them current on their rabies vaccine is an important buffer between wildlife rabies and human exposure.  Indoor animals should also be vaccinated as rabid bats are frequently discovered by pets in the home.

In addition to vaccinating your pets for rabies, there are several things Ohioans can do to protect
themselves and their pets.

• Avoid wildlife and animals you do not know.
• Teach your children that they should tell you if they were bitten or scratched by an animal.
• Call your doctor and the local health department, if bitten.
• Contact your veterinarian if your pet was exposed to a bat, raccoon, skunk, or other wild carnivore.  

It is important to remember that cats, as well as dogs, should be vaccinated for rabies. According to the latest published data by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cats continue to be the number one domestic animal confirmed with rabies: 300 cats confirmed in 2009 compared to 81 dogs.

Learn more on the Rabies page of the ODH website: www.odh.ohio.gov or contact us at (614)888-4050 with any questions you might have.

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