What Is Rabies?
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that can infect all mammals (warm-blooded animals) including humans. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.
How Do You Get Rabies?
Anyone can get rabies after exposure to a rabid animal. Rabies is spread when the virus from the animal’s saliva or brain tissue gets through a person’s skin via bites or contact with wounds or contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth.
How Can Rabies Be Prevented?
- Vaccinate and confine your pets
- Do not keep wild animals as pets
- Report sick or injured wildlife
- Do not feed pets outside or leave food outside
- Keep trash containers securely closed and dispose of trash promptly
- Speak with your children and family about rabies
- Do not feed, touch, or approach any wildlife
For disease information and bat exposure recommendations, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health rabies resources.
For local disease information, please contact the Johnson County Public Health Department 319.356.6040 or visit the Johnson County Public Health website.