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Rabies is a very serious disease that affects the brain and spinal cord of mammals (if an animal has hair or fur, it is a mammal). Cats, dogs, raccoons, coyotes and foxes are mammals, as are people. Rabies is caused by a virus and almost always causes death. Rabies is usually a disease of animals, but it can spread from an infected animal to a person.
Rabies spreads when an animal with rabies bites another animal or person. The rabies virus is in the saliva (spit) of infected animals. Infected animals can also spread rabies if their saliva gets into a scratch or other wound, or the eyes, nose or mouth of another person or animal.
Through many programs in the United states, human deaths as a result of rabies are very rare. However, it is important to be aware that rabies does exist in the united States, and that measures must be taken to prevent the spread of rabies.
SOME IMPORTANT WAYS THAT YOU CAN HELP:
Make sure that your animals are vaccinated. Massachusetts Law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies.
To find information about rabies clinics in your area, click here
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