February 27, 2021

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What is Rabies?

3 min read
Rabies is a viral infection of certain warm-blooded animals and it’s caused by a virus in the Rhabdoviridae family. Rabies attacks the nervous system and once its symptoms develop then its hundred percent fatal in animals, if left untreated.

Rabiesis a viral infection of certain warm-bloodedanimals and it’s caused by a virus in the Rhabdoviridaefamily. Rabiesattacks the nervous system and onceits symptoms develop then its hundred percent fatal in animals, if leftuntreated.

Rabies occurs primarily in animals, such as skunks, raccoons, foxes, and bats. Sometimes these wild animals infect domestic cats, dogs, and livestock. In the United States, cats are more likely than dogs to be rabid. Anyhow rabies is rare in small animals such as beavers, chipmunks, squirrels, rats, mice, or hamsters. It’s also rare in rabbits.

How someone can get rabies?

Usually rabies virus enters the body through a cut or scratch, or through mucous membranes (such as the lining of the mouth and eyes). After entering into body the virus travels to the central nervous system. When rabies infection develops in the brain, the virus then travels down the nerves from the brain and multiplies in different organs.

Rabies spreads from one animal to another through their salivary glands and organs. When infected animal bites another animal it transmits the rabies virus into another animal through its saliva. Scratched from rabid animals are also dangerous because these animals lick their claws.

Symptoms of Rabiesin Humans

The time period of rabies symptoms exposure in humans is from five days to more than a year, anyhow average incubation period is about 60 days (two months).

Each individual may experience symptoms differently, anyhow most common symptoms of rabies are:

  • Initially vague symptoms, lasting two to ten days includes, fever, headache, malaise, decreased appetite, and vomiting.
  • Victim can have pain, itching or numbness and tingling at the site of the wound.
  • In second stage the patients often develop difficulty in swallowing (sometimes referred to as “foaming at the mouth”) due to inability to swallow saliva. At this point even site of water may terrify the patient.
  • In last stage some patients become agitated and disoriented, while others become paralyzed.
  • Immediate death, or coma resulting in death from other complications, may result.

Diagnosing Rabies

In animals it’s easy to diagnose through the direct fluorescent antibody test (dFA). While in humans a number of tests are required to confirm or rule out rabies, as no single test can be used to rule out the disease with certainty. These tests are performed on samples of serum, saliva, and spinal fluid. Skin biopsies may also be taken from the nape of the neck.

Treatment of Rabies

Once the rabies symptoms occur there is no effective treatment for it. Anyhow there is an effective vaccine which provides immunity to rabies when administrated after an exposure. This vaccine is also used for protection before an exposure occurs. Usually this vaccine veterinarians and animal handlers take as preventive measure.

How to Prevent Rabies?

To prevent rabies following precautionary steps should have to be taken:

  • Always avoid strange and sick animals.
  • Never try to separate fighting animals.
  • When animals are eating never go close to them, leave them alone.
  • Always keep your pets on a leash when you are out in public.
  • Select family pets carefully.
  • Do not leave your kids alone with pet in home.
  • All domestic cats and dogs should be immunized against rabies and shots kept current.
  • Never approach or play with wild animals of any kind, and be aware that domestic animals may also be infected with the rabies virus.
  • Never let your pets to be in contact with wild animals.

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