According to Ohio Administrative Code 3701-3-28, “Whenever a person is bitten by a dog or other mammal, report of such bite shall be made within 24 hours to the health commissioner of the district in which the bite occurred.” If you have been bitten by an animal or know someone who has, please report this to Franklin County Public Health.
Franklin County Public Health is required to quarantine all dogs, cats and ferrets that bite people. The quarantine is for 10 days and is most typically done at the animal owner’s home. The purpose of the quarantine is to ensure that the biting animal does not have rabies. If the biting animal has rabies at the time it bit, the symptoms of rabies will be seen in that dog, cat or ferret within 10 days following the bite.
Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The virus travels through the central nervous system to the brain. Once it reaches the brain, the disease nearly always causes death. This is a disease that is preventable in several ways; keeping our pets currently vaccinated against rabies, avoiding encounters with wild animals like bats, skunks, raccoons and foxes, and if bitten by a rabid animal seek immediate medical attention and rabies treatment.
Rabies is spread or transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal to another animal or human. Usually, this happens through a bite that breaks the skin or contact with saliva into an open scratch or wound. On very rare occasions, it is has been documented that it can be spread if someone’s eyes, nose or mouth comes in contact with saliva of a rabid animal.
In Ohio, the most common animals to have rabies are bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes. Bats have been the only animal to test positive for rabies in Franklin County over the last 30 years. According to the Ohio Department of Health, the last domestic animal to test positive was a dog in 1966. One reason we do not often see rabies in domestic animals and pets is because of the availability and inexpensive cost of rabies vaccination.
Currently, bats are the only animal to test positive for rabies in Franklin County, therefore it is important to understand the risks associated with bat encounters. Examples of situations where there is a probability of rabies exposure:
FCPH Rabies Regulations
CDC Rabies Homepage
Ohio Department of Health Rabies Program
How to Safely Catch a Bat, New York State Department of Health
Ohio Department of Health Rabies Distribution Maps
Ohio Department of Health Rabies Post Exposure Treatment Flow Chart