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How do you contract the rabies virus?

Page last updated 06 January 2022

Rabies is spread by the bite or scratch of an animal, domestic or wild, e.g. dog, fox, monkey or bat.  Although people theoretically could spread the virus to one another via a bite, this has never been accurately reported.

Children are particularly at risk, because they are more likely to want to play with animals, and these animals may be infected with the disease. Because of their height, children are more vulnerable to high-risk bites to the face, head and neck. 



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Sources & Citations

1. NSW Government Department of Health, Rabies and Australian bat lyssavirus infection fact sheet. Available at: (accessed 07 December 2021).

5. World Health Organization. Rabies. Available at: (accessed 07 December 2021).

6. World Health Organization. Frequently asked questions about rabies for the General Public. Available at: (accessed 07 December 2021).


MAT-AU-2102482  Date of preparation January 2022