Back to Health A to Z. Rabies is a rare but very serious infection of the brain and nerves. Most people will have to pay for the rabies vaccine if it's needed for protection while travelling.
Rabies — the word probably brings to mind an enraged animal frothing at the mouth. An encounter with an infected animal can result in a painful, life-threatening condition. According to the World Health Organizationup to 59, people worldwide die from rabies every year.
Rabies is an infectious disease that can affect all species of warmblooded animals, including man. This disorder is transmitted by the saliva of an infected animal and is caused by a virus Neurotropic lyssavirus that affects the salivary glands and the central nervous system. The symptoms may lead to serious complications if the virus is not treated immediately.
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Rabies is an infectious viral disease that is almost always fatal following the onset of clinical symptoms. Yet, rabies can affect both domestic and wild animals. It is spread to people through bites or scratches, usually via saliva.
The incubation period the time the virus spreads from the peripheral nerves near the site of the bite via the spinal cord to the brain — see transmission and pathogenesis ranges in general between 2 and 3 month 2 weeks to 6 years are reported depending on the site of infliction, the amount of virus and the virus strain. Due to its neurotropism all known lyssaviruses cause severe neurological symptoms as a result of an acute encephalitis. Therefore, clinical signs in humans and animals are very similar.
After a bite or other rabies exposure, the rabies virus has to travel through the body to the brain before it can cause symptoms. The incubation period may vary based on the location of the exposure site how far away it is from the brainthe type of rabies virus, and any existing immunity. The first symptoms of rabies may be very similar to those of the flu including general weakness or discomfort, fever, or headache.
The symptoms found in a patient with rabies infection depend on 1 the form and 2 the stage of the disease. There are two classic forms of rabies: encephalitic and paralytic. A third, much less common form is discussed later.
Rabies is a viral infection of the brain that is transmitted by animals and that causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Once the virus reaches the spinal cord and brain, rabies is almost always fatal. The virus is usually transmitted when people are bitten by an infected animal, usually a bat in the United States or a dog in countries where dogs are not routinely vaccinated against rabies.