Rabies symptoms and signs occur after exposure and may consist of some or many of the following: odd behaviors, delirium, combativeness, loss of muscle function, muscle spasms, drooling, convulsions, pain, and other problems.
Although the majority of rabies infections worldwide originate from bites from infected dogs, other animals (for example, bats, foxes, raccoons, coyotes, wolves) may transmit the disease. Saliva from infected animals and bat guano may also transmit the rabies virus to humans under certain conditions.
Prevention of rabies depends on decreasing the disease in the animal kingdom. Avoid contact with wild animals and strays. Have your pets (including cats, dogs, and ferrets) vaccinated against rabies. Keep pets under control and away from wild animals and strays. Call animal-control services to remove stray animals from your neighborhood.
Diagnostic tests for rabies exposure usually involve taking tissue samples (often brain tissue) from the potentially rabies-infected animal exposed to the patient and using immunofluorescence or other immunological techniques to detect the virus in the animal tissue.