Rabies Fact Sheet




Rabies is a viral disease in people caused by infection of the brain and spinal cord.


People get rabies from the bite of an infected animal and potentially from other types of contacts.


Symptoms progress over a course of several days from a flu-like illness to encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) causing symptoms of:




                                      Muscle paralysis


Disease can be prevented by thorough washing of the wound with soap and water, followed by timely medical treatment that includes one dose of immune globulin (antibodies) and five doses of vaccine over a four week period.


Prevention Measures:

1. Avoid contact with all wild or stray domestic animals including feral cats. Leave young animals alone and never attempt to feed, pet or handle them. Remember it is illegal to keep any wild animal as a pet. Remind children to stay away from all unknown animals.


2. Be a responsible pet owner. Vaccinate pets and livestock against rabies. Do not allow pets to roam, especially at night when wild animals are most active.


3. Discourage wildlife from living around homes by eliminating any sources of food or shelter. Secure garbage cans, feed pets indoors, and cap chimneys.

Keep garage doors closed and screen crawl spaces.


4. If bitten by a wild animal wash the wound, call the physician and for additional advice contact the local health department. If bitten by a domestic animal contact the animal control officer who will decide if testing or quarantine is necessary.


5. If your pet is bitten, wear gloves when handling it or treating its wounds. Contact the pet’s veterinarian for advice and treatment.


6. Wild animals exhibiting paralysis, lack of coordination, or unprovoked aggression towards people or pets should be reported to the Department of Environmental Protection, or when immediate assistance is needed, the local police department or animal control officer.


7. Bats should be kept out of places where contact with people or pets may occur such as living quarters. When a bat is found in the same room as a person who might be unaware that direct contact occurred, such as a baby or sleeping person, it should be safely captured and tested by the authorities.



·        The Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Emerging Infections Program, for questions regarding human exposures 860-509-7994   

·        Department of Agriculture, Animal Control  Division for questions regarding domestic animals at 860-424-3011

·        The Department of Environmental Protection, Wildlife Division for questions regarding wildlife at 860-424-3011

·        The local police departments:

·      Cheshire 203-271-5500

·      Prospect 203-758-6150

·     Wolcott   203-879-1414

·        The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at    

·        The Center for Veterinary Medical Association for the 2008 schedule of rabies vaccination clinics at 860-635-7770















         Chesprocott Health District

         Telephone (203)272-2761