Galveston County Daily News, Oct. 11, 2006 By Drs. Sally Robinson & Keith Bly GALVESTON -- Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. Rabies infections in humans area rare, but when a person does contract rabies, it can be deadly. Rabies is a birus that is normally transmitted from animal to human through bites. If a bite from a rabid animal goes untreated, it can lead to brain damage or death. There are about 7,000 cases of rabies in animals reported every year to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Raccoons are the most common carriers of rabies in the United States, but bats are more likely to infect humans – more than three fourths of all cases of rabies between 1990 and 2001 cane from bat bites.