Rabies & Animal Control
ATTENTION: If you have reached this page after being bitten by any animal, contact Richland Public Health at 419-774-4520 and ask for Sanitarian who does rabies investigations. You will be advised to seek proper medical attention. (The Public Health Clinic at the Health Department is available for bite victims without a personal physician). The sanitarian will then begin an investigation.
Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. People get rabies from the bite of an animal with rabies (a rabid animal). Any wild mammal, like raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, or bat, can have rabies and transmit it to people. Because rabies is a fatal disease, the goal of public health is to prevent and control the spread of rabies by conducting rabies investigations for every animal bite in the County. The program also hosts a rabies vaccination clinic to prevent the spread of this deadly disease. Richland Public Health, with the help of the Rabies Program, enforces all rules and laws for rabies control set forth by the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative Code.
Symptoms of Clinical Rabies in Humans
Pain or numbness at the site of the bite, fever, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy. In some individuals, early nervous system involvement may be indicated by the presence of apprehension, anxiety, agitation, nervousness, insomnia, or depression. Symptoms rapidly progress, usually in a matter of days, to include paralysis, spasms of the throat, delirium, hallucinations, coma, cardiac arrhythmia, and finally DEATH. In
Once a year, local veterinarians in cooperation with Richland Public Health host a rabies immunization clinic. Richland County residents are encouraged to have their pet dog or cat vaccinated against this deadly disease. Rabies vaccine shots are available free of charge or at reduced rates during this special clinic.
The 2018 Clinic is May 12 at the Richland County Fairgrounds (East Gate off Lantz Rd.) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Click here for the flyer and procedures: RabiesClinic2018.
All animal bites occurring in Richland County are required to be reported to Richland Public Health. When a bite is reported, a Health Department Sanitarian will advise that the victim seek proper medical attention. The Public Health Clinic located at the Health Department is available for victims with no medical assistance. The Sanitarian will then immediately begin investigating the case for rabies.
The first step required by the Ohio Administrative Code is to quarantine the animal involved in a biting incident for a minimum period of 10 days from the day of the bite. The animal must be isolated and enclosed in a restricted area during the quarantine under the
If symptoms suggestive of illness are present during the quarantine period, the Health Department will require the animal to be submitted for veterinary examination at your expense. During the quarantine period, the animal owner must provide documentation which demonstrates the current rabies immunization of the animal. If immunization is not current, the animal shall not be immunized until the initial quarantine period ends.
The animal shall remain in quarantine until the animal
Upon confirmation of immunization, the department will lift the quarantine and complete a release notice. Failure to comply with the provisions of Section 3701-3-29, Ohio Administrative Code, is a violation of Section 3709.21, Ohio Revised Code, and will be prosecuted in accordance with Section 3709.99, Ohio Revised Code.
How Do I Know If An Animal Is Rabid?
Most people think rabid animals can easily be spotted because they always drool excessively and foam at the mouth. In fact, most animals will display these symptoms only during the latter stages of infection, and sometimes not even then. A better way to identify animals that pose a risk is to recognize unusual or abnormal behavior. Rabid animals, wild or domestic, may stagger, appear restless, be aggressive, change the tone of their barks or growls, or appear to be choking. Wild animals sometimes lose their fear of humans and act friendly. Animals that usually are active at night may become more active during the day. Passive animals sometimes become fierce and aggressive.
Center for Disease Control
Additional information about rabies is also available at the Center for Disease Control website
Teach kids about the dangers of rabies
The CDC also has a new site to teach kids about the dangers of rabies
Questions or Comments
We'd love to hear from you. Contact us or take our survey to speak to one of our public health professionals or share your experience with our services. We value your feedback!