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Rabies Exposures and Animal Bites

Angry dog barking Lecture: Got Bit? Rabies Testing and Animal Bite Procedures

Join veterinarians from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on Feb. 21, 2018 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center (8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS) for a FREE lecture about animal bite exposures and rabies testing procedures. This lecture is for veterinarians, animal control officers, public health/infectious disease professionals and healthcare providers. RSVP to Tiffany Wallin at 913-826-1252 or tiffany.wallin@jocogov.org.

Rabies Exposure Forms and Documents:

  • Rabies Exposure - Detailed Information Form
    • Replaces JCHD Animal Bite Report Form. Form to be completed by ACOs/CSOs, veterinarians, JCDHE-Environmental, and /or hospital staff if a rabies exposure has occurred. Provides a more thorough summary of a rabies exposure to make future investigation and follow-up easier.
  • Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention & Control, 2016
    • These recommendations serve as a basis for animal rabies prevention and control programs throughout the United States and facilitate standardization of procedures among jurisdictions, thereby contributing to an effective national rabies control program.
  • KDHE Rabies Prevention and Control Guidelines
  • Rabies Facts & Prevention
    • Informational brochure from JCDHE for persons that may have been exposed to rabies, persons that submit a specimen for rabies testing, and/or persons that have questions about rabies exposures.

Rabies Exposures

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) works in conjunction with local animal control officers (ACOs) and community service officers (CSOs) in Johnson County to limit the potential for human rabies exposures. The cooperation of many departments and agencies is necessary to provide this critical component of public health. 

Local ACOs and CSOs begin with an initial investigation of a potential rabies exposure, most often an animal bite, and determines the best course of action for each case. Officers will monitor animals that have bitten a person, as well as owned animals that may have been bitten. These officers are very important to the successful management of rabies exposure cases. If you are concerned about an animal, contact the officer in the area where the incident or potential exposure occurred. Click here for a list of Johnson County Animal Control offices.

The JCDHE Environmental Division oversees the submission of animal specimens for rabies testing at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. They work with ACOs, CSOs, veterinarians, and the general public to organize the shipment and documentation of submitted specimens. The Environmental Division will only accept rabies specimens for cases originating within Johnson County. Please contact the JCDHE Environmental Division at 913-715-6900 before bringing a specimen to their office.

The JCDHE Disease Containment Division works with local animal control and community service officers and the Environmental Division to track cases that are determined to be rabies exposures. They work with ACOs and CSOs to determine the nature of an exposure then plan the management of both the animal and the victim. The Disease Containment Division also works with medical staff to determine which types of treatments the victim may need. Positive rabies cases are then reported to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for tracking purposes.

Submitting a Specimen for Rabies Testing

Please contact the JCDHE Environmental Division at 913-715-6900 before bringing a specimen to their office. To determine if a specimen should be tested for rabies, please contact your local Animal Control office using the above link. If a specimen is to be tested, local ACOs, CSOs, or your veterinarian can prepare the specimen for shipping. We recommend that you rely on these professionals to prepare the specimen to protect you from potential rabies exposure. 

The specimens are shipped to the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (in Manhattan, KS) Monday through Friday, but increased shipping costs apply to Friday shipments because of the need for Saturday delivery. Payment of the shipping fee will be required at the time the specimen is submitted to the JCDHE Environmental Division.

Rabies Testing Fees

Specimen shipping Monday-Thursday: $90.00
Specemen shipping on Friday: $105.00 (requires a Saturday delivery fee)

Rabies Testing Results

The JCDHE Disease Containment Division will inform the victim of the results and submit a copy of the results to the Animal Control Officer, Community Service Officer, and/or veterinarian who was involved in the case. 

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