Frequently Asked Questions
Rabies is a disease that affects the brain and is caused by a virus. In humans rabies is always fatal.
Rabies is most commonly spread through the bite of an infected (rabid) animal. It is also possible to become infected if the saliva of the infected animal gets directly into an open cut or wound, the eyes, mouth, or nose.
Any mammal, wild or domestic, can carry the rabies virus. Wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes are much more likely to carry rabies. However, pets or farm animals such as dogs, cats, cattle, or horses can pass rabies on to people as well.
To prevent the spread of rabies, many pets, such as dogs, cats, and ferrets are vaccinated for the disease. If there is ever a bite exposure, it will be important to know the animal’s vaccination status.
It is important to immediately wash the area with soap and water following any bite by an animal that is possibly rabid. Jasper County Health Department recommends that you immediately contact your physician if you have been bitten.
Yes. In fact most rabies cases today are caused by the rabies virus carried by bats. If you are bitten by a bat, wash the area and contact your doctor, as you would if bitten by any other animal.
Whenever possible, the bat should be caught and sent to a laboratory for testing. The tricky part is that while most people know they have been bitten, in some cases bat bites may not be easily seen or felt. If you awaken to find a bat in your room, the room of an unattended child, a person who is mentally impaired, or an intoxicated person you should contact your doctor.
To learn more about what to do in situations involving bats, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Your doctor will work with you to determine your level of exposure and whether or not treatment will be needed. Your doctor will use tools and resources available through the Jasper County Health Department, Jasper County Environmental Health, and the Iowa Department of Public Health to help make this decision.
Our office receives many calls about landlord situations. The Environmental Health Department has no authority in this area, including bed bugs, mold, electrical, utility issues, broken items, etc. Owners are responsible for cleaning up their property.
Renters should always have, understand, and refer to a lease agreement with any issues. If the agreement is not being followed, Iowa Legal Aid may be able to assist you.
Please call Community Development at 641-792-3084 to discuss further.
Jasper County Environmental Health only inspects facilities. Please obtain information and study materials from the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (IDHHS).
IDHHS now has an online method of managing the tanning test using Google Forms.