Dogs are man’s best friend, that’s what most people say. Well, this is true, but for me, not all the time. There are times that dogs may also cause harm. Most especially when they are not vaccinated with anti-rabies. Rabies is one of the viral diseases that affect thousands and thousands of people in the entire world. Furthermore, not only our “best friends” are the ones that may transmit it, various animals, and even us human may cause its spread. In this article, you will be supplied with enough information about the causes, symptoms, as well as the treatments for rabies. If you want to know all of these and more, feel free to give this article a read.
Table of Contents
Rabies is a type of infectious disease, which may affect almost all species of homoeothermic animals, these include even us human. Furthermore, this condition is mainly transmitted by the bile or saliva of an infected animal and is mainly because of a virus is known as Neurotropic lyssavirus. This virus affects the central nervous system as well as the salivary glands. Moreover, the symptoms of the disorder may lead to serious complications, especially if the virus is not immediately treated.
The virus that causes rabies is actually a type of RNA virus, which belongs to the family of rhabdovirus. Furthermore, the virus may affect the body in either of the following ways:
- It reproduces within the muscle tissue, where it’s much safer from the immune system of the host. Furthermore, it is from here that it goes through the nervous system by means of the neuromuscular junctions.
- It directly goes through the PNS or the peripheral nervous system and then travels into the brain.
Once it is already in the nervous system, the virus will produce an acute inflammation in the brain. Thus causing coma or even death to follow.
Types of Rabies
There are two types of rabies, and they are as follows:
- Paralytic or dumb rabies: in this particular type of rabies, paralysis is actually dominant as its symptom.
- Encephalitis or Furious rabies: this specific type of rabies actually occurs to about 80% of the human cases of the condition. Hydrophobia and hyperactivity are the most common symptoms of this type.
Symptoms of Rabies
The condition actually progresses in five distinctive stages:
- The incubation
- Prodromal stage
- Acute neurologic stage
This is actually the time before the symptoms appear, this usually lasts for about 3-12 weeks, however, it may take 5 days to more than two years. The location of the bite is a big factor, because the closer the bite to the brain, the sooner the effects to show. At the moment that the symptoms appear, it can be fatal already. Medical assistance is a must then.
Symptoms may include:
- Vomiting and nausea
- A sore throat
- A headache
- 4 degrees Fahrenheit fever or above
These may last for about 2-10 days.
Acute Neurologic Stage
Symptoms may include:
- Priapism in males
- Insomnia, nightmares, and hallucinations
- Partial paralysis
- Aggression and confusion
At the end of this phase, the breathing may become rapid and inconsistent.
Coma and Death Stage
When the infected person enters the coma stage, death may occur in just a matter of hours. It is very rare for a person to recover at this stage.
Causes of Rabies
As stated earlier, rabies is mainly caused by the Neurotropic lyssavirus. This affects the nervous system and the saliva. Most of the cases of the condition in humans are because of a bite or a scratch of an infected animal, mostly dogs and cats.
Treatments for Rabies
If a certain person is bitten or is scratched by a rabid animal, one of the best treatments for rabies that they may do is to wash it immediately. This should be done for about 15 minutes with soap and water. This may help in minimizing the number of viral particles. After which seeking medical help is a must.
After getting the exposure and before the symptoms appear, a series of vaccine may help prevent the virus from prospering. This is one of the most common and usual preventive treatments for rabies.
The strategies may include:
- A series of rabies vaccine: injecting this to the arm for over the next 2-4 weeks may help in training the body in fighting off the virus when it finally finds it.
- A fast-acting dose of rabies immune globulin: this must be delivered asap, near the bite, this may help in preventing the virus from infecting the person.
Here are some prevention tips on rabies:
- Educational information as well as awareness.
- Widespread vaccinations for humans in various areas.
- Restrictions or bans on the import of various animals that is from another country.
- Regular vaccination of anti-rabies to pets and all the domestic animals.