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Animal Bites and Rabies Case Management
For Local Health Departments (LHDs)

     Animal bites and other potential rabies exposures (OPREs) account for the highest number of cases reported in West Virginia (WV) with over 2,500 yearly case investigations conducted across the state. Human rabies has not been reported in WV since 1994; however, many different animal species have been found to be positive for rabies.

     LHD staff collect important surveillance information needed for appropriate public health response to animal bies and OPREs. To facilitate these case investigation, the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology has compiled resources that may be useful for case management of animal bites and OPREs.

Animal bites and OPREs should be reported WITHIN 24 HOURS to the local health department

CASE MANAGEMENT (Animal bites and rabies should be reported WITHIN 24 HOURS)
  • *Animal Bite Surveillance Protocol

    This surveillance protocol provides information on reporting responsibilities of public health (local and state), healthcare providers, and laboratorians.

  • *Animal Encounter Report Form

    Surveillance information needed for case management should be collected on this form. It is encouraged that page 1 of this form be faxed to healthcare providers.

  • *Human Rabies Report Form

    Surveillance information needed for case management of human rabies should be collected on this form.

  • CDC Case Definition: Human Rabies

    Current case definition for human rabies.

  • CDC Case Definition: Animal Rabies

    Current case definition for animal rabies.

  • Link to WVEDSS

  • Rabies Control Guide 2010 (DC4)

    The DC4 was a joint effort between the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and the Office of Environmental Health Services. It is the official manual for rabies surveillance management and control in WV. It provides guidelines for case management of human and animal exposures, reporting requirements, and submission of specimens for rabies testing.

  • Rabies Risk Assessment for Human Exposure to Animals

    This flowchart can be used to assess the needs for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) based on the species of animal to which the victim was exposed. High risk animals include bats, raccoons, and skunks.

  • Rabies Laboratory Specimen Submission Form

    The WV Office of Laboratory Services provides testing of (brain) specimens for rabies. This form must be completed prior to sending the specimen.

  • NASPHV Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control (2016)

    The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians created this document to provide recommendations for management of wild and domestic animals associated with animal bites and OPREs.

  • National B Virus Resource Center

    Herpes B, not rabies, is the main disease of concern when investigating monkey bites. Macaques are reservoirs for herpes B, a virus that can be fatal in humans. The National B Virus Resource Center has helpful information for management of monkey bite cases.

  • Use of a Reduced (4-Dose) Vaccine Schedule for Post-exposure Prophylaxis to Prevent Human Rabies(CDC)

    Recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for administration of rabies PEP as well as information on how to manage adverse vaccine effects can be found here.

  • Rabies Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) Recommendations

    This document provides information on rabies PEP vaccine schedules based on immunization and health status of the individual seeking PEP.

  • Programs for Uninsured and Underinsured Patients

    Assistance for those with little or no medical coverage are available for patients seeking rabies vaccine and immune globulin.

  • CDC Guidelines for Vaccinating Pregnant Women

    Benefits of vaccinating pregnant women usually outweigh risks when: the likelihood of disease exposure is high, infection would pose a risk to the mother or fetus, or the vaccine is unlikely to cause harm. Find CDC's recommendation for vaccinating pregnant women here.

  • Oral Rabies Vaccine Project

    The West Virginia Oral Rabies Vaccine (ORV) Project conducts a yearly bait drop to vaccinate raccoons against rabies. The bait drop is a cooperative effort between USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services, the WV Department of Agriculture, the WV Division of Natural Resources (DNR), local health departments, and the WV Bureau for Public Health.


      In addition to human surveillance for rabies, animal rabies surveillance is conducted across WV. Below are links to information about animal bites and rabies surveillance in the state.