Facts about rabies

  • Updated: October 24, 2007 - 10:46 AM

How is it transmitted? Rabies is passed on when the virus, which is present in the saliva of an infected animal, penetrates the skin, usually through a bite. Bites from bats can be difficult to detect; some are as small as a pinprick due to bats' tiny teeth. If there is any chance that physical contact with a bat occurred, the bat should be captured and tested for rabies. Rabies can also be transmitted if a scratch, open wound or mucus membrane of the eyes, nose or mouth is contaminated with saliva from a rabid animal, but this is uncommon. An animal or person cannot get rabies simply by petting an animal or by being sprayed by a skunk.

For more information: Go to www.health.state.mn.us and search for "rabies."

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