What Is Rabies and How Do People Get It?
Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. People get rabies from the bite of an animal with rabies (a rabid animal). Any wild mammal, like a raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, or bat, can have rabies and transmit it to people. It is also possible, but quite rare, that people may get rabies if infectious material from a rabid animal, such as saliva, gets directly into their eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound. Click here for the CDC’s website for additional rabies information.

Because rabies is a fatal disease, the goals of public health are to prevent human exposure to rabies by education and to prevent the disease by anti-rabies treatment if exposure occurs. Tens of thousands of people are successfully treated each year after being bitten by an animal that may have rabies. A few people die of rabies each year in the United States, usually because they do not recognize the risk of rabies from the bite of a wild animal and do not seek medical advice.

Saratoga County offers free rabies vaccines for dogs, cats, and ferrets several times a year. For dates, times, and locations, visit the Saratoga County Animal Shelter website: https://saratogacountyanimalshelter.com/rabies-clinics/

For questions or concerns related to animal bites or potential rabies exposures in Saratoga County, please call 518-584-7460 or Email us. We are open M-F 8-4 with staff available 24 hours 7 days a week for emergencies.

Contact info for other local public health departments:
County Phone Fax
Albany 518-447-4625 518-447-4501
Fulton 518-736-5720 518-762-1381
Rensselaer 518-270-2643 518-270-2973
Schenectady 518-386-2818 518-386-2822
Warren 518-761-6415 518-761-6422
Washington 518-746-2400 518-746-2461