Health Department Notes
Confirmed case of rabies
The Woodford County Health Department has received confirmation that a bat has tested positive for rabies located in the Buck Run area of Woodford County. Rabies is a dangerous virus that anyone can get if they handle or get bitten by an animal that has the disease. Protect yourself and your family from rabies. Stay away from wild animals and be sure your pets are vaccinated with the rabies vaccine.
Rabies is caused by a virus and can infect both people and animals. People usually get rabies when they are bitten by an animal that is sick with the disease. Early symptoms of rabies in people can include fever, headache and weakness. As the disease gets worse, symptoms may include difficulty sleeping, anxiety, confusion, tingling sensation usually at the site of the bite, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, salivating more than usual, difficulty swallowing, and fear of water. Death usually occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.
More than 90 percent of all animal rabies cases reported to CDC each year occur in wild animals. The main animals that get rabies include raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats. One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to avoid contact with wild animals. Do not feed or handle them, even if they seem friendly. Family pets and other domestic animals can get rabies if they are bitten by rabid wild animals. When rabies from wild animals “spills over” into domestic animals, the risk to people is increased because of our close contact with pets. In general, pets have a higher risk of coming into contact with wild animals that may have rabies than we do. Cats, dogs and ferrets that have not gotten their rabies shots and are exposed to rabies must be quarantined for six months, or put down, because of their risk of getting rabies after the exposure.
To help reduce this risk, visit your veterinarian with your pet on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all cats, ferrets and dogs.
If you or someone in your family is exposed to a rabid animal, rabies can be prevented through a series of shots called rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). If you are bitten by any animal (domestic or wild), immediately wash the wound well with soap and water and see a healthcare provider. Report all animal bites or other injuries (scratches) to the Woodford County Health Department.
While very few people die from rabies, life-threatening situations can arise when potential exposures occur and preventive measures are not undertaken. Each year 30,000 to 40,000 people in the U.S. require PEP due to potential exposures to rabies. For more information or to report an animal bite, please stop by or call the Woodford County Health Department at (859) 873-4541.