Mode of transmission
Rabies is spread by exposure to the saliva of a rabid animal through a bite. On rare occasions, it can also be transmitted by a scratch from an infected animal or by virus-laden saliva coming into contact with a fresh break in the skin (less than 24 hours) or intact mucus membranes (eyes, nose, mouth). The virus travels through the skin and along the nerves to the brain. At this point, the individual develops symptoms that are irreversible and untreatable. Once symptoms appear, death is inevitable, generally within 14 days. Therefore, it is important to act before the onset of symptoms.
The virus is not transmitted by contact with the blood, urine, or fecal droppings of an infected animal. Contact with these biological materials should nevertheless be avoided, since they can transmit other diseases and parasites. It is strongly recommended that anyone exposed to them should see a doctor or call Info-Santé 8-1-1, since they can transmit other diseases or parasites.