Rabies is a terror as inexorable death that follows after the development of symptoms and variable long incubation period that leaves the life at risk. It is more common in developing countries however rabies is reported in developed countries time to time.The rabies virus affects the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord of humans and animals.

The incubation period of rabies in humans is generally 20–60 days. However, fulminant disease can become symptomatic within 5–6 days but 1%–3% of cases the incubation period is >6 months. Occasionally  rabies has occurred as long as 7 years after exposure.

The initial symptoms of rabies are often vague and it can be easy to mistake them for other, less serious, types of infection. They include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • feeling generally unwell
  • feeling scared or anxious

Around half of people also experience pain and a tingling sensation at the infection site.More severe symptoms start to develop. after few days. These typically include aggressive behaviour, hallucinations, agitation and producing lots of saliva.

The rabies virus has two forms that cause different behaviours in affected animals. The forms of the disease are called furious and paralytic (dumb). If an animal has the furious form of rabies, it is easily provoked, distressed, and aggressive. Some wild animals may do things that are uncharacteristic for their species when infected with the furious form of the virus. For example, bats may come out during the day, or a wild animal may be friendlier than normal towards humans. With the paralytic form of rabies, some or all of the animal’s body is paralyzed.

Rabies virus is excreted in saliva and transferred by bite or opening of skin. Non contaminated rabies are very rare. This virus is existed in stray animals like like bats fox and other mammals it can transfer to  domestic animals such as dogs cat and cattle specially if they are not vaccinated.

Treatment is supportive and specific effective treatment available. Therefore prevention is the only way in case of rabies. People should seek immediate treatment by a doctor after a bite or contact with an infected animal. The sooner treatment is started, the more likely a person will avoid developing the disease. Once symptoms appear, the rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin are not effective and death is almost certain.

Prevention – Reduce risk of exposure. In high-risk areas, avoid wild animals and stray dogs – particularly if they appear in distress or are behaving unusually.

Proper vaccination of Pets

If some one expose to rabies – immediate gentle irrigation with water or a dilute water povidone-iodine solution has been shown to markedly decrease the risk of bacterial and viral infections.

Vaccination – The combination of human rabies immune globulin (HRIG) and vaccine is recommended for both bite and nonbite exposures, regardless of the interval between exposure and initiation of treatment.People who have been previously vaccinated or are receiving preexposure vaccination for rabies should receive only vaccine.

Adverse reactions to rabies vaccine and immune globulin are not common. Newer vaccines in use today cause fewer adverse reactions than previously available vaccines. Mild, local reactions to the rabies vaccine, such as pain, redness, swelling, or itching at the injection site, have been reported. Rarely, symptoms such as headache, nausea, abdominal pain, muscle aches, and dizziness have been reported. Local pain and low-grade fever may follow injection of rabies immune globulin.

There are only three occasions world wide where fully recovered after  having symptoms.All three cases they were unconscious in intensive care unit with artificial ventilation for several months  and Anti rabies immunoglobulin antivirals neurological and other life support were given. It is said those circumstances may be due to less virulent strains or extraordinary immunity status of theses patients.

According to the scientific American .com

Extracted from Murthag,s , CID oxford journal and CDC

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