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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Rabies

Rabies

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Rabies is a disease caused by dog bite. It is caused by a virus called rabies virus. It is a zoonotic disease. It is extremely fatal if not treated.

 

After a bite from an infected animal the rabies virus travels to the brain by peripheral nerves to the central nervous system. The symptoms appear once the virus reaches the central nervous system. Once the signs and symptoms appear there is no treatment available for the disease and the disease is almost fatal. Dogs are the main carriers for rabies virus.

The most effective method for preventing rabies in people is by eliminating rabies in dogs through animal vaccinations.

Rabies

Signs and symptoms of rabies

  • Headache
  • Malaise
  • Fever
  • Acute pain
  • Violent movements
  • Uncontrolled excitement
  • Depression
  • Mania
  • Lethargy
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Extreme sensitivity to lights sounds or touch.
  • Hallucinations
  • Terror
  • Paranoia
  • Delirium
  • Hydrophobia
  • Inability to swallow water

Diagnosis of rabies

  • Viral culture or PCR culture
  • Presence of Negri bodies in saliva, urine and cerebrospinal fluid samples.

Treatment:

The treatment depends on the category of contact. There are 3 categories

Category I

Touching or feeding suspect animals, but skin is intact

Category II

Minor scratches without bleeding from contact or licks on broken skin

Category III

One or more bites, scratches, licks on broken skin or other contact that breaks the skin or exposure to bats.

 

Persons with category I and II are treated with antirabies vaccination. For category III patients and with those with weak immune system are given anti-rabies immunoglobin.

The wound should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water.