What is Rabies?

June 16, 2018 Source: Internal - Usman K - Zika Virus

What is Rabies? What are its symptoms? How is it transmitted?

Rabies is a virus spread to people from the saliva of infected animals. The virus can enter many types of mammal cells and cause them to produce and bud off new viruses, but it is particularly adept at attacking nerve cells and glandular cells. The bite introduces large amounts of saliva, which contains abundant rabies virus because of the virus's efficient growth in salivary glands.Animals most likely to transmit rabies include bats, coyotes, foxes, raccoon's and skunks.

How many types of Rabies are there?

There are two forms of the disease, furious rabies and paralytic rabies. People with furious rabies exhibit signs of hyperactivity, excitable behaviour, hydrophobia and sometimes aerophobia. These people die in a few days due to heart attacks from stress. Paralytic rabies patients account for 30% of cases. This form is less intense and runs a longer course, muscles gradually become paralyzed, from the site of the bite outwards. Usually paralytic rabies is misdiagnosed and that contributes to the under-reporting of only 30% of cases.

Who can contract Rabies?

Rabies attacks warm-blooded animals, especially mammals. The virus can enter many types of mammal cells, like muscle cells in its vicinity, and replicates there. The new viruses then enter the nerve cells and eventually make their way to the brain.

What can you do about it?

Get Vaccines! Active immunization by vaccination is used before or after exposure to rabies because of the relatively long period of the virus activating. If a patient has been bitten, applying the rabies vaccine will prompt the immune system to make antibodies, and by the time the rabies from the bite wakes, their body will be immune. Since the major majority of cases come from dog bites, if you have a pet, pet vaccination is the most important key to keeping patients rabies free.