What you need to know about rabies

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kevin Ragsdale
  • 55th Aerospace Medical Squadron
Now that spring is here outdoor activities will likely increase, along with the possibility of contact with wildlife, which in turn increases the chances of contracting rabies.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system and is transmitted from infected animals to people and other animals through a bite or a saliva-infected scratch.
Many warm-blooded mammals can harbor the rabies virus. Domestic animals such as cats and dogs are also at risk of being infected with rabies, so pet owners should keep their pets' vaccinations up to date.

Review the R.A.B.I.E.S acronym below as a helpful reminder concerning what you should do and know about in all bite cases.

Record any information about the attack.

All bites should be evaluated by a provider.

Bats are among the top rabies transmitters.

If you wake to a bat in your room, report to the Acute Care Clinic or nearest emergency room immediately.

Early treatment is critical to your health.

Suspected rabid animals should be avoided.

Additional information on rabies may be obtained by calling Public Health at 294-9361 or by visiting the Center for Disease and Control website at www.cdc.gov/rabies. For pet vaccination information, call Offutt's Veterinary Clinic at 294-3089.