Animal Bite Explanation/Summary
As described in the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC 3701-3-28 and OAC 3701-3-29), whenever an individual is bitten by a dog or other non-human mammal, a report must be made by any health care provider, or by any licensed doctor of veterinary medicine with knowledge of the bite, or by the individual bitten to the local health district commissioner. Upon receiving a report, the LCHD will contact the owner of the animal to place the animal in quarantine for at least a ten (10) day period before observing the animal involved. During this period, the animal must be confined on the owner’s premises or may be held in a kennel or pound. During this period, the animal must remain separated from other animals or people unless restrained on a leash. The animal must be observed at least ten days after the incident before it can be released to make sure the animal did not have rabies when the bite occurred. If the animal dies before the quarantine and observation period is completed, the head of the animal must be submitted to the ODH public health laboratory for rabies examination.
The rabies virus has a mortality rate of almost 100% once clinical symptoms appear, making it one of the highest mortality rates of any disease. However, it is 100% preventable in humans with prompt and appropriate medical care. According to the CDC, rabies has been steadily declining since the 1970s thanks to animal control and vaccination programs. The last known human case of rabies Ohio was in 1970. While still a very serious disease if contracted, it’s 100% preventable and the programs currently being used throughout the United States have helped mitigate the transmission of the disease.