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Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Rabies Home

Rabies is a deadly virus spread to people from the saliva of infected animals. The rabies virus is usually transmitted through an animal bite.

There are two rabies strains that commonly circulate in Iowa (bat and skunk), and many different species can be infected with these strains. Animals most likely to transmit rabies in the United States include bats, skunks, coyotes, foxes and raccoons.

Once a person begins showing signs and symptoms of rabies, the disease is nearly always fatal. For that reason, immune globulin and rabies vaccine is recommended under certain circumstances to stop the rabies virus from infecting the body.