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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.
CDC Rabies Page
Information for the general public, travelers to rabies endemic regions, veterinarians, and healthcare providers.
Rabies Vaccine: What You Need to Know
CDC rabies vaccine information sheet for the public.
Rabies: Protect Yourself! Protect Your Animals! Know the Facts! Pamphlet made by the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology providing information on rabies and its prevention, exposure definition, and what to do in the event of a potential rabies exposure.
Programs for Uninsured and Underinsured Patients
Patient assistance programs for those with little or no medical coverage are available for patients seeking rabies vaccine and immune globulin.
Oral Rabies Vaccine Project
The West Virginia Oral Rabies Vaccine (ORV) Project conducts a yearly bait drop to vaccinate raccoons against rabies. The bait drop is a cooperative effort between USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services, the WV Department of Agriculture, the WV Division of Natural Resources (DNR), local health departments, and the WV Bureau for Public Health.
Contact Your Local Health Department (Report within 24 hours!) Find contact information for your local health department here.
Rabies Risk Assessment for Human Exposure to Animals
The risk of getting rabies varies based on the species of animal causing the exposure and the type of exposure. This flowchart can help determine if rabies PEP should be recommended to exposure victims. This should not be a substitute for professional judgment.
Online Training Course on Rabies Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene provides an online course designed to, "...educate healthcare providers and public health professionals about rabies, the approach used in evaluating patients for rabies virus exposure and the administration of rabies post-exposure prophylaxis..."
Use of a Reduced (4-Dose) Vaccine Schedule for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis to Prevent Human Rabies (CDC)
Recommendation from Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for administration of rabies PEP as well as information on how to manage adverse vaccine effects can be found here.
MMWR, Human Rabies Prevention- United States, 2008
This report provides information on human and animal rabies epidemiology, the efficacy and safety of rabies vaccines. Recommendations for rabies pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis were updated to the use of a reduced 4-dose vaccine.
Rabies Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Recommendations
This two-page document can serve as a quick reference for rabies PEP vaccine schedules based on immunization and health status of individuals seeking PEP.
CDC Guidelines for Vaccinating Pregnant Women
Benefits of vaccinating pregnant women usually outweigh potential risks when: the liklihood of disease exposure is high, infection poses a risk to the mother or fetus, or the vaccine is unlikely to cause harm.
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.
A report with the most up to date figures on animal rabies cases found in West Virginia for 2015.
Click above to view the 2014 surveillance information on mosquito-borne, tickborne, and other reportable zoonotic diseases.
Laboratory Confirmed Animal Rabies Cases in West Virginia (2015)
You can find 2014 data on animal rabies by county in West Virginia.
This report summarizes surveillance data on animals tested for rabies through the 4th quarter of 2014. Information that can be obtained from this report includes: number of animals tested, number of rabies positive animals, and the species of positive animals.
Historical Data of Rabies in West Virginia by County and Species (2000-2014)
This document shows historical data on animal rabies for each county and the number of cases by species.
Archived Surveillance Data
Click here for for more information on animal rabies and OPREs in West Virginia.
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