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Rabies
27 Jan' 21

Rabies

 


Rabies is a lethal virus that can be avoided. If bitten or scratched by a rabid animal, it can transmit to humans and pets. Rabies is predominantly found in wild animals in the United States, such as bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. However, dogs still carry rabies in many other nations, and dog bites are responsible for the majority of rabies deaths worldwide.  

The central nervous system is infected by the rabies virus. If a person does not receive proper medical care following a possible rabies exposure, the virus can develop brain damage, which can lead to death. Rabies can be avoided by vaccinating pets, staying away from wild animals, and getting medical help as soon as symptoms appear. 

 

How is rabies transmitted? 

Rabies is a lethal virus that can be avoided. If bitten or scratched by a rabid animal, it can transmit to humans and pets. Rabies is predominantly found in wild animals in the United States, such as bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. However, dogs still carry rabies in many other nations, and dog bites are responsible for the majority of rabies deaths worldwide.  The central nervous system is infected by the rabies virus. If a person does not receive proper medical care following a possible rabies exposure, the virus can develop brain damage, which can lead to death. Rabies can be avoided by vaccinating pets, staying away from wild animals, and getting medical help as soon as symptoms appear. 

 

When to seek care? 

If you've come into contact with any wildlife or strange creatures, especially if you've been bitten or scratched, you should consult a healthcare or public health professional to establish your risk of contracting rabies or other infections. Wash any wounds with soap and water right away, and then make an appointment to visit a doctor. (It's crucial to remember that, unlike most other rabies-carrying animals, bats have relatively small teeth that might leave scars that fade fast.) To be safe, get medical counsel if you are unsure.) It's important to remember that rabies is a medical necessity, not an emergency. Delays in making decisions should be avoided at all costs. Before considering rabies vaccination, see your doctor for any injuries sustained as a result of an animal attack. After any wounds have been treated, your doctor will determine whether you require rabies postexposure prophylaxis treatment, which may be done in conjunction with your state or local health authority (PEP). The type of exposure, the animal you were exposed to, whether the animal is accessible for testing, and laboratory and surveillance information for the geographic area where the exposure occurred will all influence whether or not you should start PEP. 

 

What are the signs and symptoms of rabies? 

Before the rabies virus can cause symptoms, it must move through the body to the brain following a bite or other rabies exposure. The incubation period is the time between exposure and the onset of symptoms, and it can span anywhere from weeks to months. The incubation period varies depending on the location of the exposure site (distance from the brain), the kind of rabies virus, and any previous immunity.  The early signs of rabies are sometimes mistaken for flu symptoms, such as general weakness or discomfort, fever, or headache. These signs and symptoms could linger for days. There may also be pain or a prickling or itching feeling at the bite site, which can lead to acute signs of brain malfunction, anxiety, confusion, and agitation within days. Delirium, strange behavior, hallucinations, hydrophobia (fear of water), and insomnia may occur as the condition advances. The acute phase of the illness usually lasts 2 to 10 days. The disease is nearly invariably fatal once clinical indications of rabies develop, and treatment is usually supportive. Only about 20 cases of human survival from clinical rabies have been documented too far, and only a few of those who survived had no prior history of prophylaxis. 

 

Diagnosis  

The direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) test, which looks for rabies viral antigens in brain tissue, is used to detect rabies in animals. Several tests are required in people.  

For the prompt provision of postexposure prophylaxis, rapid and accurate laboratory identification of rabies in humans and other animals is critical. A diagnostic laboratory can detect whether or not an animal is rabid in a matter of hours and notify the appropriate medical personnel. If the animal is not rabid, the laboratory results may rescue a patient from unnecessary physical and psychological trauma, as well as financial responsibilities. 

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