Rabies is a disease caused by a virus, which takes hostage the nervous tissue thus affecting the nervous system. The virus travels through the body and up to the brain, causing the brain to swell and the aftermath of this is death after a short illness. The virus is secreted from the body through saliva, and thus can only be contacted from one person or animal when one comes into contact with the infected saliva. Usually, animals at the severe stages of rabies act wild due to brain malfunction hence will bite any person who encounters them, hence transmitting the virus.
Symptoms of rabies in human beings
It takes an average of up to 50 days from the day of viral exposure for the virus to infest followed by signs of infection in a person. At first, light symptoms show up;
- Stiff muscles
- Sore throat
- Itching at the bitten area
With progression of the disease, these symptoms become severe and extreme at the point of;
Treatment of rabies
- Severe throat spasms thus fear of drinking water.
- Agitation by calmness.
- Paralysis starting from the legs and moving towards the head.
- Cardiac arrest and respiratory failure, which usually result to death.
Although there is no known specific treatment of rabies yet, a person who has been bitten by a rabid animal is introduced to a number of shots to prevent the virus from taking over the body. These shots include;
Types of rabies
This is a fast acting shot used to bind and disable the virus thus preventing it from spreading. This shot is administered into the muscle tissue close to bite, if known, as soon as possible.
- Rabies vaccine
These are administered through injection on the arm, and they come in series of four injections within fourteen days of exposure. This vaccine stimulates the body to produce its own immunoglobulin to fight the rabies vaccine.
Rabies occurs in individuals in two forms;
- Furious rabies
This type displays a hyperactive, very excited and erratic behaviour in an individual.
- Paralytic rabies
This one will take a longer time before displaying any symptom. The severity is however the same, with the person slowly slipping into a coma before succumbing to death.
It is always important to take immediate action when you realize that you have this virus.
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- updated for year 2020.