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Rabies (hydrophobia), La Rabia and animal bites (vaccine-preventable)


Rabies is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system. It is transmitted from infected mammals to humans and is invariably fatal once symptoms appear. Fortunately, only a few cases are reported each year in the United States. Rabies is almost always contracted by exposure to a rabid animal. Exposure is usually through bites and the saliva of an infected animal in contact with broken skin. Scratches from rabid bats could potentially serve as source of infection.

Disease Reporting

What is required?

Health-care providers AND clinical laboratories are required to report cases and suspect cases of rabies to local health departments within 24 hours of diagnosis.

Go to our disease reporting page for information on how to report and for telephone numbers of local health departments.

For county health departments:

Rabies: Investigative guidelines (9/04) (PDF 63K)
Animal bite: Case report form  (6/03) (PDF 19K)


  • Rabies (pdf) from the 2013 Communicable Disease Summary
  • State rabies maps (pdf)

2015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011  |  2010 

2009  |  2008  |  2007  |  2006  |  2005  |  2004 

2003  |  2002  |  2001  |  2000  |  1960-2001

See Also