Rabies is a life-threatening virus, but if you’re exposed to it, prompt, effective treatment with certain vaccines can save your life. The most common way for a human to be exposed to rabies is through an animal bite. If left untreated, the virus triggers deadly inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
Cases of rabies in humans are rare, particularly in the United States. In fact, only 23 cases of rabies were reported in humans in the United States from 2008 to 2017.
Bats are the most common source of rabies-related human deaths in the United States. Across the globe, over 90 percent of human rabies cases result from virus transmission by domestic dogs.
This article outlines proper wound care for an animal bite. It also covers the steps your healthcare provider will take to minimize your risk of contracting rabies.