KY Department for Public Health Warns Caution Around Wild Animals

The Kentucky Department for Public Health, along with local health departments across the state, is reminding the public about the potential for rabies exposure from contact with infected wildlife. Kelly Giesbrecht, state veterinarian with DPH, said rabies is relatively rare in the U.S. but a dangerous, and often life-threatening condition, if contracted. Rabies, a viral disease of humans, pets and wild animals, is transmitted from animals to humans by the saliva of a rabid animal, usually from a bite. State law requires that all dogs, cars, and ferrets maintain a current rabies vaccination. The most common source of rabies exposure to humans in the US is from bats. There is no cure for rabies once clinical symptoms are present, which include strange sensations at the site of the bite, hallucinations and fear of water, all of which are quickly followed by death.

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