Environmental Health

j0430660.jpgRabies Control

Ohio law requires that all animal bites be reported to the health department so that rabies testing or vaccination can be conducted if needed. The majority of rabies cases in Ohio are found in bats, skunks and raccoons.

Animals that have bitten a human should not be destroyed, but should be quarantined (kept separate from other animals and people) for ten days to check for signs of rabies. Dog and cat bites are reported frequently to the Health Department. 

Notification of Bite
The hospital, family doctor, police/sheriff, parent or victims notify the Health Department.  Upon notification, a letter is sent to the owner of the animal. The health department will complete a rabies exposure risk assessment. If the animal is a species at risk for rabies, they may quarantine it for a certain period of time. It is the owner's responsibility concerning quarantine and vaccination requirements. Information from the risk assessment may provide timely medical care for the person bitten/exposed if rabies is found.

Inspection(s) of Animal
The biting animal must be inspected by a veterinarian at the end of the 10-day quarantine period, and the inspection form must be completed by the veterinarian and submitted with the rabies vaccination report.

Enforcement Action If the owner fails to quarantine or vaccinate the animal in accordance with State and Board of Health regulations, the case is referred to the city solicitor or county prosecutor.

Contact
Email Matt Hemmer, RS or call 454-9741 extension 232.

Resources and Links
Animal Bite Brochure
CDC Rabies Home Page
Ohio Administrative Code 3701-3-29
Animal Bite Investigation Form
ODH Bats and Rabies Page
ODH Rabies Home Page