Warmer weather brings people and animals into closer outdoor contact, and the Portage County Health Department reminds residents of the ever-present threat of rabies.
People should protect themselves by keeping contact with wild animals to a minimum and their pets by getting them a rabies shot.
Rabies is a fatal viral zoonosis and a serious public health threat. All mammals, such as raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats, are believed susceptible to the disease.
Rabies is transmitted when the virus is introduced into bite wounds, open cuts in skin, or onto mucous membranes from saliva, according to the health department.
The health department says residents should not feed, touch, or adopt wild animals, and be cautious around stray cats and dogs.
Residents should report bites to a health department and call a doctor for medical advice.
“It is important to make sure your pets are vaccinated for rabies initially after they have reached the age of 3 months and then revaccinated one year later and thereafter at not more than 36 month intervals.,” said Loyd Groves, Portage County Health Department Environmental Director.
To report a bite incident or possible rabies, call 330-296-9919 ext. 101.