Rabies is a disease present in the saliva of an infected animal, and can be transmitted from an animal to a human through a bite or scratch. Sometime, being in close proximity with infected animals also stand as a risk, so caution should be applied when dealing with animals generally.
Rabies leads to the inflammation of the brain and it is caused by lyssaviruses. It is rare for rabies to be transmitted between humans, and the disease is usually hard to diagnose especially at the initial stage where the symptoms is quite confusing.
Rabies is an infection that could be caused by a virus which is spread from the scratches or bites of an infected animal or human. The infection could also be contracted from the saliva of an infected animal especially when the saliva has direct contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose.
The effects of Rabies
Rabies has some peculiar symptoms such as fever, tingling from the spot of contact, sudden and frenzy movements, wild excitement, loss of consciousness, rigid parts of the body which affects ability to move, and confusion. These symptoms could result to death if it’s not treated well immediately.
About 18,000 deaths were recorded in 2015, with a large percent in Africa and Asia. Rabies infection is prevalent in about 150 countries across the world. However, some countries like America, Western Europe, Japan, and Australia don’t have rabies among dogs.
Over 90% of rabies infection on human is caused by the bites or scratch received from dogs especially in Africa and Asia. Bat bites account for the most common source of rabies infection in America because they have been able to manage the disease from animal control and vaccination.
— Pinnacle Health Rad (@pinnaclehealthr) September 28, 2017
Signs and Symptoms of Rabies
The signs of rabies could emerge within a few days or it could take about 1-3 months. It largely depends on the volume of the virus in the body, the location of the infected injury and the severity level.
The symptoms of rabies are not limited to headache and fever, but also include insomnia, paranoia, hallucination, anxiety, and partial paralysis.
Once a person has a bite or scratch from an animal proper treatment should be given especially an injury from an animal with rabies virus. It is extremely difficult to manage the infection once the symptoms appear and death typically occurs within a few days afterwards.
Prevention strategies of Rabies
- Animals should be given vaccines regularly
- Supervision of animals
- Avoid handling stray animals
- Quickly contact a medical practitioner if bitten by an animal after cleaning the wound with disinfectant
It is important to immunize people who are at high risk of contracting rabies to prevent the incidence, especially among people who take care of animals and personnel in veterinary hospitals. Rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin are necessary to enhance the immune system against the infection and it’s more effective when treatment is received before the symptoms of rabies manifest.
Watch the facts sheets about Rabies