Rabies definition and general information
Rabies is a disease caused by a virus which affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) both in animals and in humans. Animals infected with this virus can spread the disease through contact with saliva or brain tissue. People can contract the disease through bites, produced both from domestic and wild animals. Due to large vaccination programs against rabies, the disease is increasingly rare in developed countries, but it is more common in the countries less developed.
Human rabies infection reflects the population of animals and the expanding contact with people. Under 5% of cases in developed countries appear to domesticated dogs, though dogs which are unvaccinated represent the primary reservoir worldwide. Wild canines such as coyotes, wolves, foxes are prone to rabies. Other sources of infection are bats, cats and cows. Rabies is a disease that has as a cause infection with a virus, which appears as a result of contact with saliva of infected animals. In most cases, the virus is detected in wild animals such as bats, raccoons, foxes or coyotes. Occasionally, the virus can also be transmitted through pets like cats or dogs, but this happens very rarely due to effective vaccination programs.
Rabies and pets
Pets which never left the apartment have a very small risk of being exposed to the virus that causes rabies. In even more rare situations, some people may become infected without being bitten by an animal infected or by handling an animal that is infested, but by inhaling the virus, especially in places where it is found in large amount (caves where bats are living, for example). The virus migrates to the brain through peripheral nerves. Incubating the disease depends on the distance that they must go through to reach the brain and usually require several months. Once the infection has reached the central nervous system and symptoms begin to appear is virtually untreatable and fatal in a few days.
Symptoms of rabies
Rabies symptoms usually develop between 20 and 60 days after exposure. Rabid animals may become aggressive, combative, and highly sensitive to touch and other kinds of stimulation. And they can be vicious. Rabies symptoms in humans, are similar. After a symptom-free incubation period, the patient complains of malaise, loss of appetite, fatigue, headache, and fever.
A few facts about the rabies vaccine
No matter where the wound is, authorities emphasize that the first and most important preventive measure is by cleaning of the site with soap and water, and then go for medical attention. Unlike other immunizations, the rabies vaccine is administered after exposure to the virus. If rabies vaccine treatment is demanded, it should be started immediately after exposure.
About the rabies in humans
Rabies humans is contracted from getting bitten by an animal infected with the rabies virus. Rabies has been recognized for over 4,000 years. However, despite great advances in research technology, today rabies humans is almost always deadly , for the ones who do not receive treatment.
Rabies has no cure and death is very possible. Rabies treatment involves supportive care. But, if a person is bitten by a rabid animal, there is an extremely effective post-exposure treatment, which involves rabies vaccine. An exposed person who has never received any rabies vaccine will first receive a dose of rabies immune globulin for short-term protection.
On clinical rabies signs
The clinical rabies signs in animals vary depending on the effect of the virus on the brain. Common rabies signs include sudden behavioral changes and progressive paralysis which leads to death. But, rarely an animal may die rapidly without showing any signs.
These are a few rabies images, you can see even more rabies pictures on our pictures page Rabies pictures
Rabies side effects and the rabies virus
Rabies side effects appear in various moments after the virus entered the body. The most common rabies side effects are agitation, pain, loss of appetite, weakness, confusion and death.
Rabies virus is traveling quickly along the neural pathways into the central nervous system. Once there, he multiply and then goes further into other organs, such as the spinal cord, kidney.
How rabies transmits
Rabies transmission can be made through a lots of paths. The virus is usually present in the nerves and saliva of a rabid animal. The most common rabies transmission are through bites, scratches from an infected animal. Transmission between humans is extremely rare. There were some cases of rabies transmission in humans through cornea transplant surgery. Rabies can also be transmitted through aerosol path, just by going in a cave of bats.