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Rabies

Also called: Hydrophobia

Summary

Rabies is a deadly animal disease caused by a virus. It can happen in wild animals, including raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes, or in dogs, cats or farm animals. People get it from the bite of an infected animal.

In people, symptoms of rabies include fever, headache and fatigue, then confusion, hallucinations and paralysis. Once the symptoms begin, the disease is usually fatal. A series of shots can prevent rabies in people exposed to the virus. You need to get them right away. If an animal bites you, wash the wound well; then get medical care.

To help prevent rabies

  • Vaccinate your pet. Rabies vaccines are available for dogs, cats and farm animals
  • Don't let pets roam
  • Don't approach stray animals. Animals with rabies might be aggressive and vicious, or tired and weak

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Start Here

  • (World Health Organization)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (Immunization Action Coalition) - PDF

Symptoms

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in

Related Issues

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in

Statistics and Research

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (World Health Organization)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Nemours Foundation)

Patient Handouts

  • Rabies (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in
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