When It Comes To Dog Bites, Rabies Is Still An Issue

This month in Indiana two girls were treated for rabies after they found and touched the dead body of a rabid bat. In response, state health officials reminded the public that while you don’t hear about cases of rabies very often anymore, the deadly virus is still a danger to you and your children. In fact, about 30 animals are found to have rabies each year in Indiana – with an array of bats, raccoons, and dogs coming up positive for the disease. In the last ten years, two people in Indiana have died from the disease.

How can you keep your family safe from rabies?

•    Be aware. Many people who get rabies today do not take the threat of rabies seriously.
•    Stay far away from stray dogs, especially those that are acting unwell. Call your local animal control officer immediately.
•    If you are bitten by a stray dog, immediately have the dog tested for rabies and take all necessary precautions.
•    If you are bitten by a stray dog, wash the wound out immediately and call your doctor for treatment as soon as possible.
•    Get your dog vaccinated for rabies – not only is it the law, it is also the responsible thing to do in case your dog contracts the disease and bites a human.
•    Looks for the symptoms of rabies in your animals and in stray dog, which include aggression, biting, looking dazed, acting depressed, refusing water, and foaming at the mouth.

If contracted and not treated, rabies is always deadly. It is vital to educate your child and stay aware of the disease in order to keep this virus rare in Indiana.
James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller