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Rabies

Rabies is an immediately notifiable condition and a reportable disease in Oklahoma. All animals testing positive for rabies will be investigated by the Oklahoma State Department of Health Acute Disease Service epidemiologist. Healthcare providers can speak with an epidemiologist about suspected human rabies by calling (405) 271-4060.

Rabies is a disease caused by the rabies virus. The rabies virus can affect the central nervous system of humans and other warm-blooded mammals. Human rabies is very rare in the United States, but animal rabies, particularly in some wild animal species, is more common. Rabies infections are almost always fatal once symptoms of the disease have begun.

Rabies virus is found only in the brain, spinal fluid, and saliva of infected animals. Transmission of the rabies virus can occur if any of these fluids or tissues from an infected animal enters the body through a bite, fresh opening of the skin that has not scabbed over, or mucous membrane (eyes, lining of the nose, or mouth). The following are not exposures to rabies: being scratched by the animal, contact with blood, urine, feces, dried saliva, petting or touching the hair of a rabid animal, touching water bowls, lead ropes, gates, trailers, or other surfaces which the rabid animal had contact.

 

 

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