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3 Things You Must Know About Rabies

Abstract: As the World Rabies Day is approaching, it’s necessary for everyone to know something about rabies, a fatal but preventable viral disease, thus to better protect ourselves and our pets.

September 28 is World Rabies Day, a global health observance started in 2007 to gather many collaborators and volunteers to work together to enhance prevention and control efforts worldwide. Rabies is frightening because of its 100% fatality rate and appalling symptoms. So how does rabies spread? What are the symptoms and how to prevent it?

  • The Channels of Infection in Rabies

When bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal, or having mucosa touch, the rabies virus may invade the nerves through the wound or mucosa and develop. This transmission method is the main way of infection.

When slaughtering animals, accidental cuts may also be a transmission of rabies, but this kind is rarely seen.

In addition, if an animal that died due to rabies is buried under the ground, but is accidentally dug out by other dogs or animals, and eaten, the rabies virus will be transmitted through the digestive tract.

After an animal is infected with rabies, in the first stage, it will be depressed, afraid of light and dark with slow response, and this period usually lasts 1-2 days. The second stage manifested as violent restlessness, actively attacking people and other animals, hoarse voice, chin paralysis, and drooling. Such infected animals are very harmful to humans and other animals. In the third stage, the animal mainly has symptoms of paralysis, with general muscle paralysis, convulsions, tongue prolapse, salivation, finally leading to the paralysis of respiratory center and death.

The early symptoms of rabies in humans are fever, headache, fatigue, tingling around the wound, salivation, and tearing. Then there will be increased nerve excitability, throat muscle spasm when swallowing or drinking, and even the sound of water can cause seizures. After the excitement lasts for 3-5 days, the patient enters the paralysis stage, and finally dies with a fatality rate of 100%.

The World Health Organization has proved through a very detailed virus genome study that the incubation period of rabies virus is generally 2 weeks to 3 months, and the longest incubation period is 6 years.

  • ThePreventionof Rabies

There is no cure for rabies once it strikes. There is currently no method or plan to cure rabies in the whole world, but it can be prevented. The best prevention method is of course rabies vaccine.

“Many people can develop rabies antibodies within a week or so after the first injection of rabies vaccine, and the level of antibodies is effective to fight against rabies virus. In about two weeks, 100% of people can produce sufficiently effective antibodies.” Said a scientist at Creative Biolabs, a leading company in the field of virology researches.

But the rabies vaccine also has some side effects, the common ones are muscle or joint pain, upset stomach, dizziness, redness or swelling where the shot was given, as well as flu-like signs, such as headache, weakness, fever, shakes.

So should one receive an injection or not? The World Health Organization provides a 10-day observation method. After the wound has been treated and disinfected, it is best to observe the animal biting the human. If the animal does not die within 10 days after the bite, and there are no symptoms of rabies, one does not need to be vaccinated.

According to research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the rabies infectious period is only a few days before the death of the animal from the rabies virus. During the observation period, if the animal dies, people should inject the rabies vaccine immediately. If it is an animal that cannot be observed in captivity, one should get a rabies vaccine immediately.

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