Rabies is a viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, and ultimately the brain, causing death.
Rabies in humans is rare in Mississippi. Bats with rabies have been identified in the state, and are capable of transmitting the disease to humans with their bite. If you are bitten by an animal that carries rabies, early treatment before symptoms appear is important.
- Do not handle or touch live or dead feral animals, or wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks, foxes and coyotes that can carry rabies.
- If you see an animal with unusual or aggressive behavior, stay away and contact your local Animal Control officials.
- Vaccinate animals when your dog or cat has reached 3 months of age, one year later, and every three years thereafter (using a vaccine approved with 3 year immunity), as required by state law.
For more information
- Your local health office, or call the MSDH Health Info Hotline at 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948)