Dangers of Rabies Rabies is a fatal viral infection of the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals, including humans. It is usually transmitted through the bite of a animal that has the viral in its saliva, or more rarely by contamination of an open cut or mucous membrane (eyes, nostrils or mouth) with saliva of a rabid animal.
Possibility of Infection
When a healthy dog or cat bites someone, there is a remote possibility that the animal could be in the infectious phase of the disease without showing signs of rabies. In these rare cases, the animal will develop recognizable signs of rabies within a few days, allowing time to treat the bite victim for rabies exposure.
The 10-day quarantine period ensures that the dog or cat remains available for observation of sins of rabies. If the animal remains healthy during the 10 days, it’s an indication that the animal did not have the rabies virus in is saliva at the time of the bite and the victim does not have to receive an expensive and unpleasant series of vaccinations to prevent rabies. It is important that the animal be strictly confined at all times so that it cannot run away, be injured or infected by another animal.
The 10-day confinement and observation period for dogs and cats has withstood the test of time as a way to prevent human rabies. The quarantine period eliminates the need to destroy healthy pets to test their brains for the rabies virus.