Rabies risks and causes

What Is Rabies?

Rabies is not the public health concern that it once was, but it continues to command respect due to its serious consequences. The viral disease is transmitted almost exclusively by animal bites and, if left untreated, can cause serious neurological symptoms including fever, headache, excessive salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion.1 

A series of shots started immediately after a bite, can help unvaccinated individuals avert the disease. Unfortunately, once symptoms appear the disease almost always fatal.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 23 cases of human rabies have been reported in the U.S. from 2008 to 2017.

Rabies can be prevented with one of two FDA-approved vaccines.