Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.
The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.
Rabies Prevention & Protection Regulation
The Union County Board of Health, at their October 13, 1993 meeting, adopted a Rabies Prevention & Protection Regulation for Union County, Ohio. As part of the regulation, any person who owns, keeps, or harbors a dog or ferret in Union County shall have that animal currently immunized against rabies. Any person who owns a cat in Union County shall have that animal under control. In the event of a rabies outbreak the Health Department may order the humane destruction of any unvaccinated dog, cat or ferret, and may immediately require the mandatory vaccination of all owned and harbored cats.