What is Rabies and how do people get it?
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, get directly into their eyes, nose mouth, or a wound.
Because rabies is a fatal disease, the goal of public health is, first, to prevent human exposure to rabies by education and second, 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 can I lean more about rabies?
Contact the Butler County Health Department, if you have questions about rabies, an animal bite or concerns that an animal in your area may have rabies. The Butler County Health Department will assist in the collection and submission of suspected rabid animals to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for testing.
You may also contact the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services or the Centers for Disease Control.
EPHS Plan For Animal Bite Investigations
The Environmental Public Health section is notified, by fax, of an animal bite incident that has taken place by the medical facility that treats an individual who has been bitten. The responding Public Health Specialist will then make contact by a phone call or, if necessary, personally in order to secure all relevant information pertinent to the respective event. Collection of general background information, description of the attack and final disposition of the implicated animal will be documented and filed.