Ohio law requires that when “anyone who has knowledge” of a person who is bitten by an animal, specifically mammals, a bite incident report should be made to the health commissioner in the local health jurisdiction where the bite occurred (Ohio Administrative Code 3701-3-28).  This report should be made within 24 hours of the bite.  The local health department will then complete a rabies exposure risk assessment.  If the animal is a species at risk for rabies, they may quarantine it for a certain period of time or order the animal humanely killed for testing purposes.  Information from their investigation may provide timely medical care for the person bitten/exposed if rabies is found.

When making a bite report, be prepared to provide the local health departments with a description of the biting animal, owner of the animal, person exposed, location of where the bite happened, rabies vaccination status of the animal (if known) and how the bite occurred.

Bite wounds should be thoroughly washed with soap and water as soon as possible.  With any animal bite, consult with your physician.

Animal bite prevention tips:

Avoid – contact with wild animals and animals you do not know.

Vaccinate – your dogs, cats and ferrets for rabies and keep them current.

Call – your doctor and your local health department if you are bitten.  If your pet fought with a wild animal, call your veterinarian and your local health department to report the incident.