Rabies is a fatal disease that can be transmitted from animals, specifically mammals,
to people. The virus is often transmitted from the bite of an infected animal that infect the nervous system, causing disease in the brain and then death. Public health and animal health officials work together with human healthcare providers to prevent this disease in humans and animals.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment's Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Response (IDER) team answer approximately 450 calls each year on rabies-related issues and provide technical support to local health departments, healthcare providers, veterinarians, animal control officers, and the public. If you have a question about rabies, including consultation for post-exposure prophylaxis, take the Rabies Exposure Assessment or call the Epidemiology Hotline at 877-427-7317 for immediate assistance.
The Kansas State University Rabies Laboratory conducts animal rabies testing for the state of Kansas as a fee-for-service. Laboratory-confirmed rabid animals are reported to KDHE's IDER team, and a follow-up investigation is conducted for each positive, unsuitable, or indeterminant case.
For Health Care Providers
- Human Rabies Prevention - ACIP Recommendations
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
- Testing Information: KSU Rabies Laboratory
- Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control (PDF)
- Learn more about the Management of Animals Exposed to Rabies Algorithm (PDF).
- Humane Euthanasia of Bats
Guidance & Regulations
- The isolation of mammals causing exposure to rabies for observation and examination, as well as observation, quarantine, or disposition of mammals exposed to rabies are specified in the following document that is adopted by reference: Rabies Control Requirements (PDF). Explore the Rabies Control Regulations 28-1-13 (PDF).
- Rabies Control in Wildlife Mammals Regulation 28-1-14 (PDF) prohibits the sale or vaccination of skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and other wild animals known to carry rabies.
- Rabies Disease Investigation Guidelines (PDF)
- CDC Rabies Webpage
Rabies Surveillance in Kansas
- The Kansas State University Rabies Laboratory submits rabies test results for all animals tested in Kansas daily through electronic laboratory reporting into EpiTrax. This data is collected and disseminated by the Kansas Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (Tracking).
- To see data on rabies in Kansas, visit the Data Explorer on the Tracking program's website. Displayed below are rabies data through the years.
- Map of 2023 Rabies Positive Animals