Critical Days of Summer: Rabies

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Pedro Pena
  • 436th Aerospace Medicine Squadron
The Critical Days of Summer, the safety campaign designed to improve awareness during the summer when Air Force Safety Center statistics show increased mishaps, is currently underway.

As the summer brings out the flowers and campers, it also is a time when more wild animals are wandering around. One danger presented by these wild animals is rabies.

Rabies is a serious disease caused by a virus, which is 100 percent lethal for animals. Rabies is transmited through the saliva of an animal, commonly raccoons, but skunks, bats, foxes, dogs and cats are also carriers.

Animals with rabies act differently from healthy animals. Wild animals will move slowly, act as if they are tame or show no fear of humans. A pet that is usually friendly will snap at you or may try to bite. Drooling around the mouth is also a common sign.

To prevent the spread of rabies, all pets should be vaccinated. If pets are bitten by a wild or unknown animal, they should get a rabies booster shot. Children should always be taught to avoid wild or unknown animals.

If someone is bitten or scratched by an animal, they should wash the wound with soap and water for five to 10 minutes and seek medical attention. If they work on base or live in base housing, they should call the 436th Security Forces Squadron Control Center at 677-2856 to report the incident. Those living in the surrounding area should call the Kent County 24-hour Animal Control Dispatch at (302) 698-3006, option 1; or toll-free 1 (888) 352-7722, option 1.

For more information on rabies, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at