According to the CDC all species of mammals are susceptible to rabies virus infection. In the United States, distinct strains of rabies virus have been identified in raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes. Several species of insectivorous bats are also reservoirs for strains of the rabies virus. Transmission of rabies virus usually begins when infected saliva of a host is passed to an uninfected animal. The most common mode of rabies virus transmission is through the bite and virus-containing saliva of an infected host. According to the Missouri Statute 322.140 any domesticated animal that has not had any known contact with a wild animal that bites a human, regardless of Rabies immunization status, should be confined and observed daily for 10 days from the date the bite occurred. Should you experience an animal bite, please seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you are not current on your tetanus booster or you have never had a tetanus shot, you should either receive this vaccine from your primary provider or your local public health department.
All animal bites that occur in the county are reportable to the Webster County Health Unit. For more information about rabies, click on the link provided below. http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html