Health Information on Rabies
Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Domestic animals account for less than 10% of the reported rabies cases, with cats, cattle, and dogs most often reported rabid.
Rabies Exposure Prevention Tips
- Vaccinate your pets.
- Do not allow your pets to roam unattended.
- Enjoy wildlife from afar. Teach children not to handle wild or unfamiliar animals.
- Do not adopt wild animals.
- Do not feed wild or stray animals. Secure pet food and trash cans.
- Report all animal bites and sick or injured animals to Fairfax County Police Department’s Animal Control Services.
- Seal openings in your house so that wildlife may not enter.
- Learn about bats and rabies and how to protect yourself.
What To Do If An Animal Bites You In Fairfax County
- Clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water to lessen the chance of infection.
- Seek medical attention.
- Report the incident: Call Fairfax County Police Department’s Animal Control Services at 703-691-2131, TTY 711
- Call the Fairfax County Health Department to discuss the incident with the Rabies Coordinator: 703-246-2433
More Information About Rabies
- Information for Families
- Information for Veterinarians
- Information for Health Care Professionals
- Info for Campers and Camp Directors About Bats and Rabies
- Fairfax County Animal Control Services | 2012 Reduced Cost Rabies Clinics
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Virginia Department of Health | Rabies Data in Virginia
- Read the “Ask Fairfax!” transcript from the online discussion about rabies (April 25, 2012)