A serious illness caused by a virus spread in the saliva of infected animals.


Rabies is an illness caused by Lyssavirus strains. People get rabies most often from the bite of an infected animal. A vaccine for pets and one for humans at high risk of getting rabies can help prevent the disease.


Anyone with a risk of getting rabies should immediately talk to a healthcare professional. Once symptoms appear, recovery from rabies is rare. Early symptoms of rabies mimic the flu. Later signs include agitation, confusion, difficulty swallowing and hallucinations.


People suspected of contact with a rabies-causing virus get shots to keep the virus from spreading in the body. Rabies vaccine shots also are given, even to previously vaccinated people.