Rabies is an infectious viral disease that almost always is fatal, following the list of symptoms. It is spread to people through bites or scratches, usually via saliva of infected animals, both domestic and wild. Animals that are most likely to transmit rabies include bats, dogs and monkeys. Stray dogs are most likely to spread rabies to people.
The true burden of the disease is likely to be underestimated due to under reporting in many developing countries. Rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease. Countries undertaking rabies elimination programmes have successfully experienced marked reductions,and often progress to the elimination of rabies.
- People are usually infected following a deep bite or scratch from an animal infected with Rabies.
- It is transmitted usually by saliva, direct contact with mucous membranes (i.e., eyes, nose, mouth), fresh skin wounds, or infected organ transplantations.
- The virus responsible is Rhabdovirus.
- The incubation period for rabies is typically 1–3 months but may vary dependending on the location and volume of virus entry.
- Initial symptoms of Rabies include a fever with pain and unusual tingling, pricking, or burning sensation at the wound site.
- Later symptoms may include:
- First Symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Pain or tingling at the bite site.
- Muscle weakness.
- Furious Symptoms:
- Excessive salivation.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Fear of water (Hydrophobia) due to difficulty in swallowing.
- Muscle spasms.
- Paralytic Symptoms:
- Seizures (Convulsions).
- Partial paralysis.
- Progressive and fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
- First Symptoms:
- Your pets and stray animals can be vaccinated against rabies.
- Keep your pets inside and supervise them when outside.
- Consider the rabies vaccine if you’re traveling.
- The Rabies vaccine is also used for the treatment of rabies.
- The first dose is given immediately after the infection and later doses are generally given between 3 to 14 days after the first dose.