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37.114.571    RABIES EXPOSURE

(1) The following actions must be reported to the local health officer if they are committed by an animal other than a rabbit, hare, or rodent whose species can be infected with rabies:

(a) biting of a human being;

(b) contamination of a mucous membrane, scratch, abrasion, or open wound of a human by the saliva or other potentially infectious material from an animal that exhibits:

(i) paralysis or partial paralysis of the limbs;

(ii) marked excitation, muscle spasms, difficulty swallowing, apprehensiveness, delirium, or convulsions; or

(iii) unusual aggressive or unnatural behavior toward a person, animal, or inanimate object.

(2) The local health officer shall investigate each report of possible rabies exposure and gather, at a minimum, information about the circumstances of the possible rabies exposure; nature of the exposure; name, age, and address of the exposed individual; vaccination status of the animal in question; treatment of the exposed person; and eventual outcome for both animal and person involved.

(3) As soon as possible after investigating a report of possible rabies exposure, the local health officer must inform the exposed person or the individual responsible for the exposed person if that person is a minor whether or not treatment is recommended to prevent rabies and provide a referral to a health care provider.

(4) Whenever the circumstances described in (1) involve a dog, cat, or ferret, the local health officer must either:

(a) arrange for the animal to be observed for signs of illness during a ten day quarantine period at an animal shelter, veterinary facility, or other adequate facility, and ensure that any illness in the animal during the confinement or before release is evaluated by a veterinarian for signs suggestive of rabies; or

(b) if the symptoms described in (1)(b) above exist, order the animal killed and the head sent to the Department of Livestock's diagnostic laboratory at Bozeman for rabies analysis. The local health officer may also order an animal killed subsequent to isolation, and the brain analyzed.

(5) Additional rabies reporting and control requirements are contained in ARM 32.3.1201 through 32.3.1207, rules of the Department of Livestock.

(6) The department hereby adopts and incorporates by reference ARM 32.3.1205, which contains the standards for proper vaccination against rabies. A copy of ARM 32.3.1205 may be obtained from the Department of Livestock, Animal Health Division, Scott Hart Building, Capitol Station, Helena, MT 59620 phone: (406)444-2043.

History: 50-1-202, 50-2-118, MCA; IMP, 50-1-202, 50-2-118, MCA; NEW, 1987 MAR p. 2147, Eff. 11/28/87; AMD, 2000 MAR p. 2528, Eff. 9/22/00; TRANS, from DHES, 2002 MAR p. 913.

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