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How do you contract the rabies virus?

Page last updated 10 July 2018

Rabies is spread by the bite or scratch of an animal, domestic or wild, eg dog, fox, monkey or bat.  

Although people theoretically could spread the virus to one another via a bite, this has never been accurately reported.

Children are particularly at risk, because they are more likely to want to play with animals, and these animals may be infected with the disease. 


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Sources & Citations

  1. Victorian Government, Department of Health and Human Services, Rabies and Australian bat lyssavirus.  Available at (accessed 5 April 2018).
  2. The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition, 4.16 Rabies and other lyssaviruses (including Australian bat lyssavirus). Available at (accessed 5 April 2018).
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rabies Signs and Symptoms. Available at (accessed 5 April 2018).

SPANZ.RABIE.18.04.0156a - Date of preparation May 2018