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Causes of Rabies

List of causes of Rabies

Following is a list of causes or underlying conditions (see also Misdiagnosis of underlying causes of Rabies) that could possibly cause Rabies includes:

  • Animal bite
  • Raccoon bite - 44% of USA rabies cases
  • Skunk bite - 28.5% of USA rabies cases
  • Bat bite - 12.5% of USA rabies cases
  • Fox bite (type of Animal bite) - 5.5% of USA rabies cases
  • Bite of an infected animal
  • Aerosol through mucous membranes
  • Sexual relations
  • Kisses
  • Transplant surgery

Primary Cause of Rabies

The primary cause of Rabies is the result:

  • of an infectious agent.

Rabies Causes: Risk Factors

The following conditions have been cited in various sources as potentially causal risk factors related to Rabies:

Rabies: Geographical Location Profile

Geographical Profile for Rabies: Rabies is found in all of the United States, except Hawaii, and in many other countries... (Source: excerpt from Rabies, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID) ...more »

Rabies: Related Medical Conditions

To research the causes of Rabies, consider researching the causes of these these diseases that may be similar, or associated with Rabies:

Rabies: Causes and Types

Causes of Types of Rabies: Review the cause informationfor the various types of Rabies:

  • Furious rabies - early uncontrolled behavior including biting.
  • Dumb rabies - later stages with apparent calm due to paralysis
  • more types...»

Causes of Broader Categories of Rabies: Review the causal information about the various more general categories of medical conditions:

Rabies as a complication of other conditions:

Other conditions that might have Rabies as a complication may, potentially, be an underlying cause of Rabies. Our database lists the following as having Rabies as a complication of that condition:

What causes Rabies?

Causes: Rabies: Rabies is caused by a virus that is in the saliva of infected animals, and it is usually transmitted by bites from infected animals. All warm-blooded animals can get rabies, and some may serve as natural reservoirs of the virus. (Source: excerpt from Rabies, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)
Article excerpts about the causes of Rabies:

Rabies, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

Rabies can affect wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, and bats, as well as household pets such as dogs and cats. Vaccination of pets and livestock is the most effective control measure to prevent the disease in these animals and subsequent human exposure. In fact, in the United States, such programs have largely eliminated canine (dog) rabies. In 1998, wild animals accounted for 93 percent of the 7,962 reported animal rabies cases in the United States and Puerto Rico. Rabies in raccoons accounted for 44 percent of cases, skunk rabies for 28.5 percent, bat rabies for 12.5 percent, and fox rabies for 5.5 percent of the cases. Only rarely, rabies is found in rabbits, squirrels, rats, and opossums.

Health officials are particularly concerned about rabies in raccoons because raccoons are often in close contact with household pets, especially dogs and cats. Increasingly, bats are being shown to be important transmitters of rabies to humans. (Source: excerpt from Rabies, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Rabies, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

Most people get rabies from being bitten by a rabid animal. Rarely, if a person has broken skin, like a scratch, which comes in contact with animal saliva full of rabies virus, that person may get infected. But rabies also can be spread in the air, as has occurred in caves where infected bats live. (Source: excerpt from Rabies, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

What is rabies?: DVRD (Excerpt)

You get rabies from the saliva of a rabid animal, usually from a bite.  The rabies virus is spread through saliva. It is not spread through contact with urine, feces, or blood of an infected animal.

You cannot get rabies by petting an animal. You may get rabies from a scratch if the animal, such as a cat,  was licking its paw before it scratched you. (Remember that the rabies virus is found in the saliva of an animal).

In very rare cases, rabies has been spread from one person to another after a corneal transplant.  In several instances, the cornea  (part of the eye) from a person who died of rabies was transplanted to a healthy person, who then got the disease. (Source: excerpt from What is rabies?: DVRD)

Facts About Rabies: CDC-OC (Excerpt)

Since 1980, 17 of 32 cases of human rabies in the United States have been associated with bat-related virus variants. Noteworthy, only one of these patients had a definite bite history. These cases and recent findings suggest that limited or insignificant physical contact with rabid bats may cause infection, even without a clear history of animal bite. (Source: excerpt from Facts About Rabies: CDC-OC)

Medical news summaries relating to Rabies:

The following medical news items are relevant to causes of Rabies:

Related information on causes of Rabies:

As with all medical conditions, there may be many causal factors. Further relevant information on causes of Rabies may be found in:


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