Rabies is a viral disease found in mammals. Rabies is 100% fatal in humans that develop symptoms. Rabies can be prevented by prompt medical treatment following an exposure to a rabid animal. Exposure is considered to be a bite or scratch that breaks or punctures the skin, or when bodily fluids from an infected animal contact mucous membranes or an open wound.
Bites or scratches by wild or exotic carnivorous animals such as raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, opossum, ground hog, deer, wolf, wolf hybrids, bats, lions, tigers, bears, etc., require that the animal be euthanized and the head removed at the owner’s expense. The head will be sent to the Ohio Department of Health for rabies examination, with the cost of testing paid by the owner.
Other wild animals such as chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, rats, and mice have not been known to transmit the rabies virus to humans. All bites should be treated as potential exposure to rabies. The Ohio Administrative Code requires that all animal bites be reported to the health department within 24 hours of bite. The health department notifies the owner of the animal regarding the 10-day quarantine period.