• What is it? Rabies is a virus.
• How is it transmitted? Through contact with the saliva or brain matter of an infected animal. Contact with a break in your skin (scratch, cut, bite, etc), mouth, eyes or nose, where mucous membranes are present is of greatest concern.
• What does it affect? Rabies attacks our central nervous system, and is typically fatal.
• What animals can potentially carry this? All of the animals identified on the "Common Wildlife" page can potentially carry rabies. The good news is, the occurance in the majority of those species is very rare. There has been a large amount of concern regarding bats. In Iowa, one half of 1 percent of the Little Brown Bats tested have tested to be positive for rabies. The number one carrier of rabies in Iowa is none other than the Striped Skunk.
• What to do if bit by an animal? If you are bitten by any wild animal, wash the bitten area thoroughly with soap and water and contact a physician immediately. If possible, the animal involved should be captured or killed without damage to the head. If the animal must be killed, keep it refrigerated (not frozen) until it can be given to experts for examination.