Rabies and Bite Reporting

About Rabies

Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.

Report a Suspected Rabies Case

To report a suspected rabies case or to receive a rabies assessment call the Maricopa County Department of Public Health at 602-747-7500 (24 hours a day).

Rabies in Humans

Rabies in humans is 100% preventable through prompt and appropriate medical care. Without medical care the rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.


The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort.

As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include:
  • Agitation
  • and Hydrophobia (Fear of Water)
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Excitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Hypersalivation (Increase in Saliva)
  • Insomnia
  • Slight or Partial Paralysis
Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.

Continuing Education

Learn more about Rabies on our Rabies Postexposure Prophylaxis (PEP) page.