Although it is not as rampant in the U.S. as in other parts of the world, rabies is still a dangerous threat. Rabies is categorized as a zoonotic disease, meaning that it is a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans, or from humans to animals. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, 55,000 people die of rabies every year. When left unvaccinated, our pets can suffer, too.
With the exception of Antarctica, rabies is present on all continents. In the United States, rabies has been reported in every state except Hawaii.
The rabies virus is spread via contact with saliva from of an infected animal. Though transmission is usually through a bite wound, rabies has been known to spread through a scratch or an existing open wound.