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Rabies
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Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Rabies

Rabies is a serious disease. It is caused by a virus.
Rabies is mainly a disease of animals. Humans get rabies when they are bitten by infected animals. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.
The early symptoms of rabies in people 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 anxiety, hallucinations, increase in saliva, partial paralysis, and fear of water. Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.
Human rabies is almost always fatal.
Wild animals - especially bats - are the most common source of human rabies infection in the United States. Skunks, raccoons, dogs, cats, coyotes, foxes, and other mammals can also transmit the disease.
Although human rabies is rare in the United States, tens of thousands of people are vaccinated each year as a precaution after animal bites. Also, rabies is far more common in other parts of the world, with about 40,000 - 70,000 rabies-related deaths worldwide each year. Bites from unvaccinated dogs cause most of these cases.
Rabies vaccine can prevent rabies.
Rabies Vaccine Schedule
The pre-exposure schedule for rabies vaccination is 3 doses. Anyone who has been bitten by an animal, or who otherwise may have been exposed to rabies, should see a doctor immediately. The doctor will determine if they need to be vaccinated.
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Trusted Websites
Rabies
Rabies
Information and resources from CDC's National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, & Enteric Diseases
>> Kids and Rabies
>> Information for Travelers
>> The Burden of Rabies
Kids Health: Rabies
Kids Health: Rabies
About the infection, including signs and symptoms, contagiousness, prevention, incubation, duration and treatment from KidsHealth
A Look at Each Vaccine: Rabies
A Look at Each Vaccine: Rabies
Questions and answers about the disease and vaccines from the Vaccine Education Center
View all diseases and vaccines
Video Library
Video: What is Rabies?
What is Rabies?: Peter Costa provides information about how you can protect yourself, your pets and your community from Rabies; a deadly yet preventable disease. The series discusses how rabies is transmitted, which animals are most likely to be rabid, symptoms and diagnosis, prevention measures, World Rabies Day and medical advancements.
>> view all rabies videos
Personal Testimonies
Stories of suffering and loss
No rabies stories currently available
>> view all personal testimonies
More Rabies Information
Rabies: Questions & Answers from IAC
Rabies Q&As
Rabies disease and vaccine information
Yellow Book: Rabies
Yellow Book: Rabies
Chapter from CDC's Health Information for International Travel
Rabies Photos
Some of the images are quite graphic
>> view rabies photos
 
This page was reviewed on March 3, 2014
Immunization Action Coalition  •  1573 Selby Avenue, Suite 234  •  Saint Paul, MN 55104
tel 651-647-9009  •  fax 651-647-9131
 
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), a non-profit organization, works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services. IAC also facilitates communication about the safety, efficacy, and use of vaccines within the broad immunization community of patients, parents, healthcare organizations, and government health agencies.