Rabies

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  • Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most commonly transmitted by a rabid animal bite.  The majority of reported cases occur in wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.  The virus infects the central nervous system resulting in disease within the brain and then death.  In people, the symptoms initially include fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort.  As the disease progresses, the symptoms become more severe including insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, increase in saliva, difficulty swallowing, and fear of water.  Typically death occurs within days after the onset of these symptoms.