This article was reviewed by Jennifer Boidy, RN. Jennifer Boidy is a registered nurse in Maryland. She received her Associate of Science in Nursing from Carroll Community College in 2012.
How To Tell If An Animal Has Rabies
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Rabies is a serious neurological disease that affects animals and humans around the world. Rabies is spread through saliva, usually through a bite. If left untreated, the virus can travel to the brain and cause death. Due to the virulence of the rabies virus, accurate identification of infected animals is extremely important. Finally, by observing animal behavior, looking for physical signs of the disease, and learning about rabies, you can better understand the symptoms of rabid animals. Ultimately, your ability to identify a predator will help you protect public health.
This article was reviewed by Jennifer Boidy, RN. Jennifer Boidy is a registered nurse in Maryland. She received her Associate of Science in Nursing from Carroll Community College in 2012. This article has been viewed 65,176 times. Rabies is a disease caused by the RABV virus. Symptoms include seizures, hallucinations and paralysis. The most common way to get rabies is through a bat bite (in the US) or a dog bite (in Asia and Africa). Rabies can be prevented by getting vaccinated soon after exposure. When symptoms begin, rabies is fatal.
Rabies virus (RABV) is transmitted through direct contact (such as through broken skin or mucous membranes in your eyes, nose, or mouth) and saliva or brain/nervous tissue from an infected animal. Rabies can be fatal but it is preventable. It spreads to humans and animals if bitten or scratched by a ferocious animal.
The rabies virus enters your body when the saliva (spit) of an infected animal enters an open wound (usually from a bite). It travels very slowly along the nerves in your central system (your brain and spinal cord). When it reaches your brain, the damage can cause neurological symptoms. From there, rabies can lead to coma and death.
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About 59,000 people around the world die each year from rabies. In the United States, human rabies cases are rare – fewer than three people contract rabies each year. This is thanks to the fact that many people take the vaccine immediately after hearing about it.
Rabies is most common in rural areas of Asia and Africa, although it is found on every continent except Antarctica. In the United States, rabies is found in wild animals. But dogs carry rabies in many other countries. Children are more susceptible to rabies than adults.
Rabies moves from the infected wound to your brain over time. Most people go through several stages: incubation, prodromal stage, acute neurological stage and coma.
The rabies virus can live in your body for days to weeks before entering your system (incubation). You do not need to qualify at this time. If you receive treatment at the beginning of the incubation period, you will not get rabies.
Rabies: How It Spreads And How To Protect Yourself
RABV travels to your nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord, causing nerve damage as it travels. The prodromal phase begins when the rabies virus enters your nervous system. Your immune system tries to fight back, causing flu symptoms. Nerve damage can cause tingling, pain, or stinging in the area where you were bitten. This may take two to 10 days. There is no effective treatment once rabies reaches this stage.
At this stage, the rabies virus begins to damage your brain and spinal cord. About two-thirds of people have aggressive rabies, with symptoms such as anger, seizures and hallucinations. Some have rabies paralysis, with weakness and paralysis that progresses from the bite wound to the rest of the body. A rabies attack can last for a few days to a week. Paralytic rabies can last up to a month.
Many people go into a coma in the last stages of rabies. Rabies is fatal.
Rabies usually does not show any symptoms for several weeks after it enters your body. When rabies reaches your central system (prodromal phase), you may experience flu-like symptoms. In the later stages, you have neurological (brain) symptoms.
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Psychological symptoms of rabies include anger or paralysis. Angry rabies symptoms may come with periods of calm in between (angry episodes).
The RABV virus causes rabies in humans and animals. As it moves through your body to your muscles, it damages the nerve. It hides in your immune system until it reaches your brain, causing brain damage and eventual death.
Rabies is carried by warm-blooded animals (mammals) and is picked up in their saliva. You usually get rabies from the bite of an infected animal.
Rabies can be found in bats, skunks, raccoons and foxes, but other animals – including your pet dog or cat – can be infected. If your skin breaks and comes into contact with the saliva of an infected animal, you can be exposed to rabies.
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Rabies can be found in wild animals, including bats. In developed countries, most people get rabies from domestic dogs.
In the United States, most people get rabies from bat bites. Bite marks are so small — about the size of a pencil tip — that many people don’t even know they’ve been bitten. That’s why it’s important to see a medical provider if you’ve been in contact with bats and aren’t sure if you’ve been bitten.
Unlike most diseases, do not wait for symptoms to diagnose rabies. If you have been bitten or scratched by a wild or rabid animal, contact your health care provider immediately. They will examine your wound and ask several questions to determine if you need treatment for rabies. He can also test for signs of rabies.
If an animal is infected with rabies, it will be observed for signs or tested, if possible. Animals (humans) must be killed for testing.
Animal Bites And Rabies Prevention
There is no treatment for rabies once you have symptoms. If you have been exposed to rabies (an infected animal bite), contact a health care provider immediately.
Wash the wound gently but gently with soap and water. Ask your provider for more instructions on cleaning the wound.
Your provider will give you a series of shots (vaccines) to prevent the rabies virus. You will also be given an antibody treatment directly into the wound if you have not been vaccinated before.
If a wild animal bites or scratches you, there are steps you can take to prevent rabies.
Five Things To Know About Rabies
Medicines that prevent the virus from going to your brain if you have been exposed to rabies (post-exposure prophylaxis/PEP). These drugs are often combined:
There is no cure for rabies once it enters your brain because your blood-brain barrier protects it.
Your blood-brain barrier is a layer between your brain and the blood vessels in your head. Its job is to protect your brain by preventing toxins and other harmful substances from entering your brain through your blood. It’s like a perfect strain.
Researchers don’t know exactly how, but rabies closes this barrier, making it impossible for the drugs to kill.
New Weapon In War On Rabies: Mobile Phones
Rabies can be prevented. Keeping your pet safe and away from wild animals will prevent you from getting rabies. If you are exposed, you can get the vaccine to prevent rabies before symptoms start.
If you are at increased risk of rabies, you should be vaccinated before traveling according to the advice of your local health authority. This is called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PREP) and it is a series of injections. How often you need promoters depends on how big your risk is.
If you have been exposed to rabies, you can wait two weeks for the vaccine. You may experience minor side effects, such as pain when your healthcare provider holds the needle or feeling sick.
You can get rid of rabies if you get treatment within a few days of exposure, before you have symptoms. When you have rabies – that is, you show symptoms of the virus affecting your brain – there is no effective treatment available. Without early vaccination and antibody treatment, rabies is almost always fatal.
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You can live weeks or months after being exposed to rabies without symptoms. Once symptoms begin, rabies can kill within days.
You should take care of animal bites and other possible rabies immediately. Exposure to rabies is an emergency situation.
Be prepared to answer questions about how you were injured, what kind of animal and whether you can observe the animal for a few days.
Go to the ER if you have a bite or a deep cut that won’t stop bleeding, or is on your face or neck.
How To Survive: Rabid Animal Attack
Rabies is common in dogs in developed areas of Asia and Africa. In developed countries, including the United States, Canada and Western European countries, rabies is not commonly found in domestic dogs.
Rabies is a dangerous disease that is almost always fatal. Fortunately, it is
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