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Rabies is an infection caused by a virus. This virus is almost always fatal unless it is treated before symptoms appear. It affects the central nervous system.
People usually get rabies through a bite or scratch from an infected animal. Animals in the US that commonly carry the virus include bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes. Dogs and cats can also carry the disease. The rabies virus is found in the saliva, brain, or nervous tissue of infected animals. In the US, rabies in humans is rare.
Rabies symptoms include:
- Pain, tingling, or itching at the site of the bite wound or other site of viral entry
- Stiff muscles
- Increased production of thick saliva
- Flu-like symptoms, such as headache, fever, fatigue, and nausea
- Painful spasms and contractions...