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. ClickherefortheCDC’swebsiteforadditionalrabiesinformation.
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.
Where Do I Report a Bite or Exposure?
Animal bites and exposures need to be reported to the appropriate county health department according to where the individual and animal live as well as where the exposure occurred. When reporting animal bites or exposures to your public health department, please review where the exposure occurred, where the individual resides, and where the animal resides.
If exposure occurred outside of the county, to a person who is not a resident of the county, and an animal resides outside of the county, please contact the appropriate county health department.
What To Do If You Need To Report a Bite To Saratoga County Public Health