U.S. Army Medical Department, Fort Drum NY
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Rabies Awareness Reminder


MEDDAC Sends Rabies Awareness Reminder

Soldiers, DOD civilians and contractors who may have been bitten or scratched while deployed are strongly encouraged to get a medical check-up and treatment as soon as possible. Likewise, Families of these redeployed personnel should encourage their loved ones to seek medical care. Rabies is a viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Left untreated, rabies is nearly always fatal, so medical evaluation of all animal bites is strongly encouraged. The vast majority of rabies cases in-theater is caused by dog
bites, because animal vaccination is uncommon. The Army takes proactive steps to provide appropriate vaccinations for Soldiers based on mission requirements. Soldiers in high-risk occupations such as veterinary services, civil affairs, special operations and dog handlers are inoculated with rabies vaccine before deploying. All Soldiers receive medical threat briefings and other health information on a variety of topics, including rabies, prior to and during deployments. Stateside, rabies prevention starts with animal owners. All dogs, cats and ferrets are required by law to be vaccinated against rabies. It is important to keep vaccinations up to date. Pet owners can reduce the possibility of pets being exposed to rabies by not letting them roam free and by spaying or neutering pets to reduce any tendency to roam or fight. All biting animals that are owned by personnel residing on a military installation must be brought in for an examination by a military veterinarian as soon as possible. If the owner is known, inform him/her that the animal will need to be confined and examined.

If a wild or domestic stray animal is involved, contact either the Military Police at (315)772-5156 or the Civilian Game Warden at (315)772-9918.

If you have questions, please contact Preventive Medicine - Public Health Nursing at Clark Hall, at (315)772-6404/6984.

To seek medical attention after duty hours, following an animal bite, please visit the Guthrie Urgent Care Clinic or the nearest emergency room.