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Public Health warning: Rabies awareness

  • Published
  • By Public Health
  • 82d AMDS
More than 55,000 people die each year from rabies. Rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning it is transmitted to humans from animals. It is a serious viral disease that affects the central nervous system and left untreated will cause death. The 82nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron public health flight in conjunction with the city of Wichita Falls and base personnel are combating this deadly disease.

The actual time between infection and when you get sick ranges from two to 10 days. Symptoms of rabies include: fever, headache, and general weakness. As the disease progresses persons may experience the following symptoms: insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia. Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, and treatment is typically supportive.

There are precautionary measures that can be taken to prevent rabies: avoid wild animals acting strangely, limit leaving food, water or trash out which can attract wild animals, and lastly keep your pets up to date on their rabies vaccination. Remember to report all animal bites and scratches to your Primary Care Manager and don't forget to educate your children on the importance of rabies. For more information visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website at: or contact the 82nd AMDS Public Health flight at (940) 676-3052.