Animal Bite Reporting Responsibilities
Ohio State law requires that owners of animal that have been involved in a bite follow specific rules. The following documents will help you properly adhere to these laws by providing you with the needed information.
When an animal bites, an Animal Bite Reporting Form is completed and forwarded to the health department for investigation.
Once the report is received a letter is sent to the owner(s) of the animal.
A person bitten by an animal other than a dog, cat or ferret should notify the Noble County Health Department immediately at 740-732-4958, to report the bite.
According to Ohio Administrative Code 3701-3-28, “Whenever a person is bitten by a dog or other mammal, report of such bite shall be made within 24 hours to the health commissioner of the district in which the bite occurred.” If you have been bitten by an animal or know someone who has, please report this to the Noble County Health Department.
What We Do:
The Noble County Health Department is required to quarantine all dogs, cats and ferrets that bite people. The quarantine is for 10 days and is most typically done at the animal owner’s home. The purpose of the quarantine is to ensure that the biting animal does not have rabies. If the biting animal has rabies at the time it bit, the symptoms of rabies will be seen in that dog, cat or ferret within 10 days following the bite.
What to do if you are bitten or scratched by an animal?
Thoroughly clean the wound area with soap and water and cover with a clean dressing or bandage;
Immediately seek medical care with your family doctor, urgent care or emergency room. Many bites are puncture wounds that can easily become infected if not cared for properly;
Try to obtain information about the animal’s owner including name, address and telephone number; Try to obtain information about the biting animal such as the type of animal, color, breed, name and rabies tag; Make sure that the healthcare provider reports the animal bite to Noble County Health Department, if not please contact the Noble County Health Department at 740-732-4958 to file an animal bite report.
What is rabies?
Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The virus travels through the central nervous system to the brain. Once it reaches the brain, the disease nearly always causes death. This is a disease that is preventable in several ways; keeping our pets currently vaccinated against rabies and avoiding encounters with wild animals like bats, skunks, raccoons and foxes. If bitten by an animal seek immediate medical attention and rabies treatment.
How is rabies spread?
Rabies is spread or transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal to another animal or human. Usually, this happens through a bite that breaks the skin or contact with saliva into an open scratch or wound. On very rare occasions, it has been documented that it can be spread if someone’s eyes, nose or mouth comes in contact with saliva of a rabid animal.
What animals can have rabies?
In Ohio, the most common animals to have rabies are bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes. Bats are known to be the more of a higher risk for Rabies compared to the other species listed. Exposures to a bat can occur in many ways, and if you have an exposure, you should contact the Noble County Health Department to determine if you need post exposure treatment for Rabies.
Exposure can include:
1. Direct contact with a bat such as handling a bat
2. having a bat hit or fly into you or seeing marks on your skin after coming in contact with a bat
3. Unknown contact with a bat such as waking up and seeing a bat in the room with you
4. finding a bat near a young child either outside or in a room or building
Protecting your pets:
Please remember to protect your pets such as dogs and cats from rabies by keeping them current on rabies vaccination. In event that your dog or cat may be bitten by a wild animal or exposed to a bat, contact your local veterinarian and the health district to determine the next steps to ensure your pet receives post exposure treatment if determined necessary by your vet and health district staff.
For more information on animal bites, exposure to rabies, and bat encounters and determining rabies risk, contact our office to discuss by calling 740-732-4958.
If you feel you have been exposed to a bat, please seek immediate medical attention at a local emergency room and explain to them that you may have been exposed to a bat;
If the bat is seen and be captured, please do not damage the head of the bat. Contact our office to see how you can have the bat tested for Rabies if the bat can be captured. We recommend preventing contact with any dead bat or live bats in your house, you should contact a wildlife specialist to have the bat removed from your home to limit exposure.
Do not take a captured bat into the urgent care or emergency room; they do not test bats for rabies. Please call Noble County Health Department to arrange for having the bat tested.