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All posts from rabies:

Rabies in Pennsylvania: Human Implications – Reminder from the PA Department of Health

In response to a recent human exposure to a rabid fox in Luzerne County, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) is releasing the following information regarding Rabies in Pennsylvania.


Rabies is an important zoonotic disease known to affect all mammals including humans; mammals represent the only known reservoirs of the disease. Rabies is a serious infection of the nervous system caused by a virus which is usually transmitted to humans by a bite or scratch from a wild infected animal, most commonly, raccoon, fox, bat or a skunk. The rabies virus is also transmitted by the bite of unvaccinated rabies-infected dogs and cats. Rabies almost always results in death if a bite or scratch from a rabid animal (an animal infected with rabies) is not treated at the time of exposure and symptoms of an infection develop.


It is important to note that rabies is endemic in Pennsylvania and that raccoons (1st), cats (2nd), and bats (3rd) represent the animals most responsible for human exposure to rabies. In Pennsylvania, rabies has been also been reported in opossums, groundhogs, cattle, horses, and other domestic animals. Small rodents such as hamsters, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and rabbits are very rarely infected with the rabies virus.

How is Rabies Spread to Humans?

Rabies is transmitted to humans and other animals through close contact with saliva from infected animals (i.e. bites, scratches, licks on broken skin and mucous membranes).

How is Rabies Prevented?

Vaccination of animals against rabies, and not feeding, approaching, or handling wild or stray animals are the primary methods of rabies prevention. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania law requires all dogs and non-feral cats three months of age and older to be vaccinated against rabies. Booster vaccinations must be administered periodically to maintain lifelong immunity. The Pennsylvania Department of Health assists health care providers to determine potential risk of rabies exposure, tests animals for rabies, and advises on management of human rabies exposures. 

Want more information on Rabies and the law?  Check out this link:

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Rabies Map:

Rabies Map courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Rabies Map courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture


What is the rabies risk for my pet?

What is the rabies risk for my pet?

Any animal bitten or scratched by either a wild, carnivorous mammal or a bat that is not available for testing should be regarded as having been exposed to rabies.

Unvaccinated dogs, cats, and ferrets exposed to a rabid animal should be euthanized immediately. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal should be placed in strict isolation for 6 months and vaccinated 1 month before being released.

To learn more, go to:




Anyone that has been bitten or scratched by, or had saliva exposure to a skunk must receive treatment to prevent this fatal disease. If you and your pet were in Montgomery County recently or if you, someone in your household, or any of your pets have possibly had contact with a skunk or any other stray or wild animal, immediately call the Montgomery County Health Department, Division of Communicable Disease Control at (610) 278-5117.

Pennsylvania Rabies Map

ATTENTION NORRISTOWN: Be sure to review this most recent map of current diagnosed Rabies cases from  the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture | Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services.  We also like to remind the public that the figures shown are only those of animals that have been laboratory tested.  Figures are certainly higher in the untested / undiscovered rabid animal population.  Keeping your dogs and cats up to date on their rabies vaccines is not only very important to protect them, and your family….it’s the law.  Remember, Rabies isn’t simply dangerous, it’s fatal.

rabies map 2

Click to Enlarge

World Rabies Day

World Rabies Day

September 28 is an opportunity for people around the world to unite in rabies prevention.

Every year hundreds of thousands of people like you organize and take part World Rabies Day. All over the world people take part in local, regional and national events, held to raise awareness about and/or prevent the spread of rabies.

Please help us spread the word and make sure you are current on you pet’s rabies shots!