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.
For questions or concerns related to animal bites or potential rabies exposures rabies please call 518-584-7460. 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:|
Guidance Regarding Human Exposure to Rabies and Postexposure Prophylaxis Decision
Rabies Post Exposure Prophylaxis (RPEP)1 Algorithm
Infectious Diseases Requisition Form (IDR)
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Animal Specimen Testing
For the Community:
NYS Department of Health: Catch the Bat
Rabies Fact Sheet
What Can People Do To Protect Themselves Against Rabies?
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