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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Rabies Information for Medical Personnel

Environmental Health

Sarasota EH OfficeVenice EH Office
Rabies is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system. Rabies is spread through contact with the saliva and nervous tissue from a rabid animal through a bite, scratch, or contact with mucous membranes, such as of the eyes, nose, or mouth.

The early signs of rabies can be fever or headache, but this changes quickly to central nervous system symptoms, such as confusion, sleepiness or agitation. Once these symptoms are exhibited in a person infected with rabies, death usually occurs in a matter of weeks. Fortunately, human rabies cases in the United States are rare.

There is effective treatment to prevent rabies as long as the treatment is given soon after exposure.

Contact DOH-Sarasota for assistance with:

  • Animal Testing - 941-861-6133
  • Medical Advice
    Sarasota 941-861-2784
    North Port 941-861-3864

More information: