Rabies - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Rabies is a deadly virus that spreads from one person to another through the saliva of an infected animal bite. An infected person can also transmit to the healthy ones through saliva. Animals that mostly spread rabies are;


  • Bats

  • Coyotes

  • Foxes

  • Raccoons  

  • Skunks

  • Stray dogs 



In Pakistan, stray dogs are the most common reason for rabies spread. Therefore, it is highly advised to get a rabies vaccine as soon as possible if a dog bites you. No matter if it is a puppy or a dog that bites, you must go to the hospital, get vaccinated, and get all the shots on time. It is because if you do not get vaccinated on time, no medication can stop its spread. Rabies virus, when starts to show the symptoms, mostly causes death. 


Symptoms


When symptoms of rabies start to show, it is quite impossible to treat the disease. At first, it may show symptoms like that of flu. Later on, it may show symptoms like;


  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting


Fear brought on by attempts to drink fluids because of difficulty swallowing water- a condition known as hydrophobia. Due to which the patient does not drink water or take shower even. 


  • Hallucinations

  • Insomnia

  • Partial paralysis

  • Agitation

  • Anxiety

  • Confusion

  • Hyperactivity

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Excessive salivation




Causes


Rabies is caused by the Rabies virus. It can infect animals, which can, in turn, bite human beings and transmit the virus through saliva. The Rabies virus transmits through saliva. An infected animal can bite any person or another animal and transmit the virus. Moreover, if your wound is open and an infected animal licks it, you can also get infected. Or if your wound comes in direct contact with the saliva of an infected person, it can also become a mode of transmission. 


Animals that can spread rabies are;



  • dogs

  • bats

  • ferrets

  • cats

  • cows

  • goats

  • horses

  • rabbits

  • raccoons

  • skunks

  • woodchucks

  • beavers

  • coyotes

  • foxes

  • monkeys


How to Cure Rabies?


To prevent Rabies, you must get vaccinated against it as soon as possible after the animal bite. If you delay doing that, there are fair chances the virus may infect you. To protect, you will receive a series of immunoglobulin shots. They will produce antibodies to fight against the rabies virus and save you from getting infected. 


Do not wait for symptoms to show up for getting vaccinated. Once symptoms of rabies appear to show, it is too late to cure. The rabies vaccine is given in 14 days, totaling five shots. Make sure you receive all the shots on the designated date. Do not skip or delay the shots. 


Washing the wound also plays an essential role in preventing rabies. The healthcare providers will wash your wound for almost 15 to 20 minutes with soap, detergent, iodine, or water. If you are far from a medical facility, you can do that yourself. Make sure you do not touch the wound directly. After that, they will give you immunoglobulins as you receive the rabies vaccine- a procedure known as post expsoure prophylaxis. 


Rabies vaccine and immunoglobulins may cause the following signs and symptoms;


  • pain, swelling, or itching at the injection site

  • headache

  • nausea

  • dizziness

  • stomach pain

  • muscle aches



Prevention 


To prevent Rabies infection, you must;


Vaccinate your pets against Rabies

Do not let your pets travel alone. Keep an eye on them and their activities

Keep small pets separate from predators.


Do not go close to or approach wild animals. Animals infected with the rabies virus act opposite to their nature. If a wild animal is being friendly to human beings, there can be fair chances that it is infected with rabies. Wild animals are generally not friendly with humans. 


Do not let any bat enter inside your home

If you are traveling to a remote area where a medical facility is not available and rabies virus spread is common, get yourself vaccinated against it. However, consult with your healthcare provider about it. 


Conclusion 


Rabies is a deadly virus that spreads from one person to another through the saliva of an infected animal bite. You must go to the hospital, get vaccinated, and get all the shots on time if any mammal animal bites you. 


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