What is rabies? (Part I of Rabies 101)

Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted through the saliva or tissues from the nervous system from an infected mammal to another mammal.

The rabies virus attacks the central nervous system causing severely distressing neurological symptoms before causing the victim to die.  Rabies is one of the deadliest diseases on earth with a 99.9% fatality rate.

Any mammal can get rabies.  The most common carriers of rabies are raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes.  Domestic animals can also get rabies.  Cats, cattle, and dogs are the most frequently reported rabid domestic animals in the United States.  (Information, charts, and statistics courtesy of Center of Disease Control, Global Alliance for Rabies Control, and the NC Department of Public Health)  rabiesstrabiesstats4bats_by_season rabiesstats2 

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