Rabies is a serious viral infection of the central nervous system. The virus is usually passed to humans through the bite of a rabid animal. Occasionally, rabies can be transmitted if the saliva of an infected animal gets into a fresh scratch, break in the skin, or contact with mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose).
In West Virginia, most cases of rabies occur in wild animals, such as raccoons and skunks. If you are bitten or scratched by a rabid or possibly rapid animal, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water and immediately consult a physician and your local health department.