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Last Updated: Nov 05, 2019
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Rabies - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Rabies? What are the early symptoms of rabies? Causes of Rabies : What is the incubation period of rabies? How is rabies transmitted? What is the treatment plan for rabies? What is the rabies vaccine schedule? What is the way for the prevention of Rabies? What are the side effects of rabies? What are the Home remedies for rabies?

What is Rabies?

An enraged beast frothing at the mouth, is typically the word Rabies brings to our mind. Since an encounter with such an infected animal can result in a life-threatening, painful condition as being mentioned above.According to WHO (World Health Organization) report there are more than 60,000 people, who get infected with this dreadful disease every year. And most out of them, approximately 90% have been bitten by a rabid dog. However, the availability of rabies vaccine for both human and the animals has led to a steep decline of rabies in all developed nations across the world.

Rabies is a disease that affects the CNS (Central Nervous System) in human beings, especially the brain. Wild animals like bats, skunks, raccoons and domesticated wildlife like dogs, rabbits and cats can transfer the rabies virus to human beings. This happens when humans gets bitten or scratched by these wild and domesticated beasts.The key to fighting this disease is to look for an immediate medical assistance, once you are bitten or scratched by any of these animals, be at home or in the wild.

Once infected the incubation period between the bite and the onset of the rabies symptoms usually takes anywhere between 4-12 weeks. But it has also been noticed, this incubation can also range from a few days to 6 yrs.

What are the early symptoms of rabies?

If left untreated, rabies symptoms develop between 3 to 12 weeks. First few symptoms are :

  • High fever
  • Generally feeling of being unwell
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Discomfort at the site of the bite

Other symptoms appear a few days later and are:

  • Confusion or aggressive behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Excessive salivation or frothing from the mouth
  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty in swallowing or breathing
  • Paralysis

After the symptoms appear, rabies is mostly fatal. Flu-like symptoms of fever, headache, muscle ache, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, and tiredness are common initially. At first, tingling, numbness, and itching around the bite area may be seen. Sensitivity to lights, sounds or touch is commonly seen along with other symptoms. Fear of choking and fear of water are common signs of rabies.

Causes of Rabies :

Animals who are infected with this disease transfer the rabies virus to other animals and human begins following a bite or a scratch via their saliva. Nevertheless, any contact of the rabies virus with an open wound or with the mucous membrane can spread this disease.

While human transmission of rabies virus is an extremely rare occurrence, transmission of this virus exclusively occurs from animal to animal and animal to human beings. According to reports from WHO, for all the humans who get infected with this disease, an unvaccinated dog is by far the most common threat for spreading this disease.

So, if you have been exposed to the rabies virus, and you have not been vaccinated before, rabies immunoglobulin is injected on the patients on such emergency circumstances, which prevents the virus from getting a foothold.

What is the incubation period of rabies?

The incubation period of rabies in humans is generally between 20-60 days. Although the fulminant disease can become symptomatic within 5-6 days, the point of concern is that in 1-3% cases, the incubation period may be greater than 6 months. Definitive diagnosis has been made plenty of times even 7 years after exposure, although the reasons for this latency are unknown.

The incubation period relies upon a few factors, for example, the area of infection passage and viral burden. A few cases with long incubation periods can't be affirmed because the individual may have been exposed to the infection on different occasions.

How is rabies transmitted?

Rabies disease is brought about by the rabies infection. The infection is spread through the spit of infected creatures who spread it by gnawing another creature or individual. At times, rabies is spread when the rabies contamination gets into open injury or the mucous layers, for instance, mouth or eyes and it happens when an infected creature licks these territories.

Any warm-blooded creature can transmit the rabies infection. Most basic creatures transmitting the infection are:

  • Cats
  • Cows
  • Hounds
  • Ferrets
  • Goats
  • Steeds
  • Bats
  • Beavers
  • Coyotes
  • Foxes
  • Raccoons
  • Monkeys
  • Skunks
  • Woodchucks

In a couple of uncommon cases, the rabies infection might be transmitted to tissue and organ transplant beneficiaries from an infected organ.

What is the treatment plan for rabies?

If rabies disease is set up, there is no compelling treatment. The disease is typically lethal. Thus, you have been exposed to the rabies infection, you should get a couple of shots to keep the infection from grabbing hold. If you have been bitten by an infected animal, you receive these shots. If the animal that has bitten you can’t be located, it is safest to assume that the animal is infected.

Rabies shots are of two sorts:

  • Quick-acting shot to keep the infection from tainting you.
  • A progression of rabies antibodies to enable your body to figure out how to recognize and battle the rabies infection. You get four infusions for more than 14 days.

Now and again, it might be conceivable to distinguish whether the creature that bit you is infected or not.

Procedures to determine this may vary from situation to situation.

  • Pets and livestock: Possibly watched for 10 days to check whether they give indications and side effects of rabies. If the animal seems healthy during this period, then it is not infected.
  • Wild animals that can be caught: Like but can be killed and tested through its brain for the virus. If the animal does not have the virus, then you don’t need the shots.
  • Animals that can’t be found: In these cases, it is best to assume that the animal that bit you is infected and you receive the shots.

What is the rabies vaccine schedule?

High-risk people like veterans, animal handlers, etc. should be given this vaccine. People whose activities bring them into contact with the rabies virus and rabid animals and international travelers who come into contact with all types of animals should also be considered for these vaccines.

The pre-exposure schedule for vaccines is in 3 doses given as:

  • Dose 1: As appropriate
  • Dose 2: 7 days after dose 1
  • Dose 3: 21 days or 28 days after dose 1

Booster doses need to be given to people who are repeatedly exposed to the virus.

Vaccination after an introduction: An individual who is uncovered and has never been immunized against rabies ought to get 4 dosages of rabies immunization one portion immediately, extra dosages on third, seventh and fourteenth days. They ought to likewise get another shot called Rabies Immune Globulin simultaneously as the main portion.

An individual who has been as of lately vaccinated should get 2 portions of rabies antibody one quickly and another on the third day and rabies Immune Globulin isn't required.

What is the way for the prevention of Rabies?

  1. Governmental strategies for prevention of rabies are:
    • Rlessegular anti-rabies vaccinations for pets and domestic animals
    • Bans on the import of animals from some regions
    • Widespread vaccination of humans in certain areas
    • Instructive data and mindfulness
  2. Humans ought to vaccinate their pets to abstain from contracting rabies
  3. Secure little pets: Some pets can't be immunized, so they ought to be kept in an enclosure or inside the house to shield them from wild predators.
    • Pets ought to be securely restricted at home and supervised when outside
    • Contact local animal control officials when you see stray animals
    • Animals with rabies tend to be less cautious than others and they may try to contact humans which must be avoided
    • Seal your homes to keep bats from nesting
    • Anyone who is traveling to an area with animals with rabies predominating in those areas should get vaccinated before traveling

What are the side effects of rabies?

  • Acute neurologic period: This endures from between 2 to 10 days and quite often finishes in death. The indications change contingent upon how serious or how gentle the underlying presentation was. Symptoms of rabies during the acute neurological period are:
    • Hyperactivity
    • Excessive salivation
    • Hydrophobia
    • Priapism
    • Photophobia
    • Paranoia
    • Confusion and incoherence
    • Aggression
    • Hallucinations
    • Seizures
    • Partial paralysis
    • Delirium
  • These symptoms lead to massive brain inflammation leading to a coma. If intensive care is not provided on time, death is inevitable in a few hours to days.

  • Furious rabies:It is the most well-known type. It is portrayed by brutal physical and neurological indications. Side effects are hindered by quiet stages. Demise, as a rule, happens due to cardio-respiratory arrest.
  • Paralytic rabies: It is influences about 20% of individuals and may cause shortcoming of muscles, beginning from the site of introduction growing outwards. Paralysis is usually due to hip injuries and death due to respiratory failure.
  • Atypical rabies: It is the type associated with bat bites. Symptoms are usually a combination of both furious and paralytic types.

What are the Home remedies for rabies?

The main aspect one should always look in for after bitten by any animal is to get emergency first aid and it involves washing out the wound immediately with soap or with the antiseptic solution available. By doing so one can kill the germs that may be transferred via the bite of the animal.

Efforts must be done to stop bleeding in the wound. The local bodies or the animal owner should be notified immediately to prevent further cases. Then the person should approach the nearest health care center to get further treatment. Leaving wound untreated may lead to complications henceforth it is advised to get health care treatment at the nearest health care center rather than at home.

Popular Questions & Answers

Is it safe to consume alcohol a day after anti rabbies vaccination? The vaccination name is abhayrab and there is no information available about its reaction with alcohol.

MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Hyderabad
Alcohol in long run reduces immunity. But immediately noticed effects but why have alcohol in the first place can you please elaborate.

I am 18 year old male, I am now taking anti rabbies vaccine ,my last vaccination is on 26th. Can I drink wines, alcohol after this vaccination course or during this period?

Diploma In Paediatric
Pediatrician, Patna
There is no effect of alcohol on vaccination but should avoid alcohol not only after vaccination but also for ever. It is not only injurious to personal & physical health but also for family and social health.
3 people found this helpful

A kitten at my hostel was playing with me and I got a small scratch. No bleeding. But a red scar. I took first vaccination in 3rd day. And I am taking regularly. Also observing the kitten. Its the 6 th day since scratch. She is able to drink milk and is playful. I am being assured that its not problem but I am still stressed. Should I have started right on day 0?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Skin & VD, DNB
Dermatologist, Raipur
I think you are talking about fear of Rabies. First of all your degree of injury is mild. And it seems unlikely for the cat to be infected. So rest assured. You are on right track.

Hello, I have took Indirab vaccine as 1st number then I have to take VaxiRab N due to unavailability. Is there any problem? As,IndiRab is PVRV and VaxiRab N is PCECV?

Pediatrician, Ghaziabad
Both PCECV and PVRV are approved by WHO along with few other types like HDCV and PDEV. All are equally effective and can be interchangeably used in case of Nonavaibikity or allergy to other.
1 person found this helpful

Cat scratch me and some blood come outside and I take vaccine injection and my last date is 18 July 2018 but again Cat bite me but blood is not come outside And I also wash my hand so what do I do?

MD - Paediatrics
Presuming that you have taken the post exposure schedule (Day 0, 3, 7, 14 & 28), with only the 28th day vaccine due, No further treatment is required as the vaccines that you have taken have already conferred sufficient immunity against Rabies. Wa...
1 person found this helpful

Popular Health Tips

What are the initial (prodromal) symptoms of rabies?

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
What are the initial (prodromal) symptoms of rabies?
Pain or paresthesia at the site of the bite is well known as a diagnostically useful prodromal symptom occurring in one third to two thirds of cases. In Thailand, however, a specific type of paresthesia itching was the earliest symptom in >40% of ...
15 people found this helpful

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Washing of animal bite wound essential ! The risk of rabies reduces by about 50% by just washing of wounds and application of antiseptics. The maximum benefit of the wound washing is obtained when the fresh wound is cleaned immediately. It is impo...
5 people found this helpful

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
How should the animal causing the bite be handled? It is important to establish whether the biting animal is healthy or diseased, bearing in mind that a rabid animal excretes the virus in its saliva not just throughout the illness but also several...
2 people found this helpful
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