Rabies is an acute viral infection that is transmitted to humans by a bite or by the exposure of broken skin to an infected animal's saliva. Immunization given early (preferably within 24 hours but certainly within 72 hours) can usually prevent the disease. Without immunization, rabies is fatal.
Review Date: 1/25/2013
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.