Any mammal can be infected with rabies, but bats (less than 1 percent are infected) and skunks (a variable percent are infected) are the most significant rabies-vector species in Missouri.
Infected animals may be found dead, weak, stumbling, convulsing, or showing unusual behavior, such as aggression or disorientation.
Behavioral changes are not always obvious.
Yes, primarily from contact with saliva of infected animals, as in a bite wound.
Rabies is fatal once symptoms appear. Seek medical evaluation immediately following an animal bite or contact with an animal suspected of having rabies.
No. Rabies vaccination is highly recommended by veterinarians and is required by law in many areas. Talk to your veterinarian about vaccinations for your pets and livestock.
Rabies is a viral disease of mammals. Rabies testing requires brain tissue, so avoid head shots if killing suspect animals.