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Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that usually spreads from an infected animal to a human through a bite. Early symptoms of rabies are rather vague and can take a while to develop. Once the disease progresses, though, it is nearly always fatal. According to the World Health Organization, tens of thousands of people worldwide die from rabies annually. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of this disease in animals and humans to avoid a worst-case scenario.

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1. Transmission

The rabies virus spreads through direct contact. The most common mode of transmission is a bite, but there are rare cases when non-bite exposures can lead to the disease. Because saliva carries the virus, it is possible for people to get rabies through a scratch, wound, or abrasion licked by a rabid animal. Rabies is not spread through blood, feces, or urine.

Rabies Virus Transmission designer491 / Getty Images
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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.