This dangerous disease is caused by a virus. It can infect all mammals. The virus spreads through saliva, and attacks the brain and spinal cord. By the time symptoms appear, it's almost always fatal.


How do you get rabies? It happens when you come into close contact with an infected animal. Dogs, foxes, raccoons and bats are common carriers. The virus gets into your body if you are bitten, licked or scratched. It can also enter through your eyes or mouth.


How do you know an animal has rabies? Early signs are lack of energy, fever, vomiting, and lack of interest in food. Within days, an animal with rabies may start to act strangely. It may be aggressive. It may drool, and have trouble breathing and swallowing. It may be weak, and it may have seizures.


You can protect yourself from rabies by getting the rabies vaccine. It's given to people whose work or hobbies may put them in contact with infected animals. It's recommended for people who are traveling to areas where they may be exposed. And, if you've been exposed to rabies, the vaccine can kill the virus in your body. But you must be vaccinated soon after exposure. So, if you think you've been exposed, see your doctor immediately.