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The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment works in conjunction with animal control officers in Johnson County to limit the potential for human rabies exposure. JCDHE tracks animal bites to verify the animal has survived the quarantine period or, if the animal was not located, that the person bitten has started the rabies shots.
The Environment Division of JCDHE will accept rabies specimens for cases originating within Johnson County or involving Johnson County residents only. For other cases, please contact officials in your local jurisdiction.
How to Get the Testing Process Started
To determine if a specimen should be tested for rabies contact the Animal Control Officer in the area where the incident or potential exposure occurred. They can assist you with the bite reports and submittal information. Click the Johnson Co. Animal Control block on the right to find contact information. Local Animal Control Officers or your Veterinarian can prepare the specimen for shipping to Kansas State University for testing. We recommend you rely on these professionals to prepare the specimen due to a potential exposure to rabies.
Submitting a Specimen for Testing
- The animal must have the head removed from the body between the skull and the first vertebrae. The exception is small animals, such as bats or squirrels.
- The specimen must be placed in two water-tight plastic bags with the outer bag being dark so that the specimen is not visible.
- The specimen may be frozen if it is to be stored for any length of time.
The specimens are shipped to K-State on Monday through Thursday. Increased shipping costs apply to Friday. Deliver the specimen to the Environment Division office before noon for shipment on one of those days. If there is a need for other arrangements, please contact the office at 913-715-6900.
Payment of the fee will be required for shipping and testing at the time the specimen is submitted. There is an additional shipping fee if specimen is submitted on Friday. Please see Permit and Inspection Fees for rabies testing fees.
Receiving the Test Results
The Health Division of JCDHE will call the victim and give them the results as well as fax a copy to the Animal Control Officer or the Veterinarian who was involved.