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Animal Bites and Other Potential Rabies Exposures (OPREs)
Public and Physician Information

      Animal bites and OPREs should be reported to the local health department WITHIN 24 HOURS for two reasons: 1) the public health concern from potential rabies transmission and 2) the injury that can result from a bite. Local health departments investigate animal bites to determine the risk of exposure to rabies and the need for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for a victim.

     Encounters with dogs and cats account for the majority of animal bites and OPRE reports in West Virginia. For animal bites caused by dogs, cats, and ferrets, the animal is required by law to be confined for 10 days to rule out human exposure to rabies. If the animal is not available for confinement or testing for rabies, the bite victim may need to get PEP; depending on the circumstance, type of exposure, and the type of animal involved.

General Information
Physician Information
Dog Bite Prevention
  • CDC Dog Bite Prevention Page
    Every year, nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs; over half are children. This page provides dog bite statistics and information on preventing dog bites.

  • AVMA Dog Bite Prevention
    The American Veterinary Medical Association website has many resources on dog bit prevention, including podcasts and social media links.

West Virginia Surveillance Data
Every year, 2,500 animal bites and OPREs are reported in West Virginia. In addition to human surveillance for rabies, animal rabies surveillance is conducted across the state. Below are links to information about animal bites and rabies surveillance in WV.


Has animal rabies been reported in your county? If yes, in which species? Was it bat or raccoon-strain rabies? Click on a county to find historical information about animal rabies dating back to 2000. The surveillance data includes cases of both bat and raccoon rabies.

Number of Cases of Animal Rabies in
West Virginia by County, 2000-2013
Hancock County Data Brooke County Data Ohio County Data Marshall County Data Wetzel County Data Tyler County Data Pleasants County Data Wood County Data Jackson County Data Mason County Data Cabell County Data Ritchie County Data Wirt County Data Gilmer County Data Upshur County Data Doddridge County Data Calhoun County Data Roane County Data Braxton County Data Clay County Data Marion County Data Lincoln County Data Wyoming County Data Logan County Data Mingo County Data Nicholas County Data Summers County Data Preston County Data Pocahontas County Data Fayette County Data Webster County Data Hardy County Data Jefferson County Data Raleigh County Data McDowell County Data Tucker County Data Morgan County Data Wayne County Data Lewis County Data Boone County Data Greenbrier County Data Mercer County Data Randolph County Data Mineral County Data Monroe County Data Taylor County Data Barbour County Data Berkeley County Data Hampshire County Data Pendleton County Data Grant County Data Putnam County Data Harrison County Data Monongalia County Data Kanawha County Data

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