This passage describes the animal disease known as rabies.

Lexile Level: 860L

Categories: Sports & Health Animals & Nature

Rabies is a serious disease of the brain that is caused by a virus. Only mammals can get rabies; raccoons, dogs, cats, foxes, and bats can be infected. The virus is carried in saliva, not blood. If an infected animal bites you, you could get rabies too. If an animal is acting strangely, it might have rabies. For example, if a dog that's usually friendly suddenly snaps at you, or a fox acts tame and moves slowly, keep away! Another sign is heavy drooling. Rabies affects the nerves that allow animals to swallow and makes them look as if they're "foaming at the mouth." Rabies kills more than 50,000 people and millions of animals around the world each year. Every state in the U.S., except Hawaii, has reported cases of rabies. Protect your pets by making sure they are up-to-date on their rabies shots. Protect yourself by never going near animals who are acting strangely. If you are bitten by any animal, tell an adult right away. Rabies is nothing to fool around with!

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