The Infectious Path of the Rabies Virus
- The raccoon is bitten by a rabid animal.
- Rabies virus enters the raccoon through infected saliva.
- Rabies virus spreads through the nerves to the spinal cord and brain.
- The virus incubates in raccoon's body for approximately 3-12 weeks. The raccoon has no signs of illness during this time.
- When it reaches the brain, the virus multiplies rapidly, passes to the salivary glands, and the raccoon begins to show signs of the disease.
- The infected animal usually dies within 7 days of becoming sick.51