Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most commonly transmitted through a bite of a rabid animal. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system causing disease to the brain and death. Symptoms of rabies in humans are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia. Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.
Animals associated with rabies include bats, cats, dogs, ferrets, horses, livestock and raccoons. To reduce your risk of rabies avoid contact with wild, sick or injured mammals; keep pet vaccinations current; and do not leave pet food outside bring it indoors and store in covered container.
Anyone bitten by an animal should file a bite incident report with the health department in accordance with Ohio Administrative Code 3701-3-28
. Upon receiving an animal bite report the health department will complete a rabies exposure risk assessment. Animals are typically placed under quarantine and observed for a period of ten (10) days, after which time, the owner must supply proof of rabies vaccination for the quarantine to be lifted.