What causes rabies?

Rabies is caused by a virus that is usually spread through the bite of an infected animal. You could catch rabies if a rabid animal licked an open cut on your body or if you got its saliva in your eyes or mouth, but this is rare. In the United States, wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, foxes, and bats are most likely to carry rabies, but you can also catch rabies from infected farm animals and pets.

Continue Learning about Rabies

Should I talk to my doctor if I think I have been exposed to rabies?
Peter DeLuciaPeter DeLucia
If you think you've been exposed to rabies, you should seek medical attention immediately, and call ...
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How can bats spread rabies?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
While bites are a common way for diseases to be spread from bats to humans, exposure to saliva and o...
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How is rabies treated?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
You must get rabies treatment very soon after you are exposed, before deadly symptoms appear. If you...
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How is rabies spread?
Peter DeLuciaPeter DeLucia
Rabies is spread through a mammal's saliva, via a bite or scratch by an infected animal. Watch publi...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.