Information about Rabies
We Have to Know about the Rabies
- Rabies is a serious viral disease that affects the central nervous system.
- It is a fatal viral infection carried in the saliva of warm-blooded animals. Transfer to humans is usually from a domestic rabid dog. Rabies also occurs in some indigenous wild animals, such as the bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal, and yellow mongoose. These wild animals seldom come into contact with humans and so it is very rare that they transmit rabies to humans.
- Thoroughly wash the wound or area of exposure with soap and water and see the doctor
Causes of Rabies
- Most often rabies transmission occurs through the bite of a rabid animal. Rarely, people contract rabies when saliva from an infected animal comes in contact with their eyes, nose, mouth or a wound. This may occur if you’re licked by an infected animal.
Do’s and Don’ts – Rabies
- Keep your pets and other domesticated animals up-to-date with regular animal rabies shots.
- Avoid contact with wild or unfamiliar animals, whether they’re alive or dead.
- Report stray animals or any that act strangely or sick to your local animal control authorities.
- Teach your children to never handle unfamiliar animals.
Signs & Symptoms of Rabies
- Fever, headache, malaise
Conditions that show between 1-3 months after exposure:
- An early symptom is tingling, pain or intense itchiness at the site of the bite, even when the wound has already healed.
- Slight or partial paralysis
- Difficulty swallowing
- Fear of water (hydrophobia) because of the difficulty in swallowing
- Deep or multiple bites, particularly to the head and neck, resulting in symptoms to appear sooner.
Symptoms in an infected animal include unusual behavior, aggressiveness, excessive drooling (can give the appearance of froth) and paralysis. A warning sign for rabies is when a wild animal becomes tame or a tame animal becomes wild, or if a night animal appears during the day.
Medical advice for Rabies
- If you think you may have been exposed to an animal with rabies, thoroughly wash the wound or area of exposure with soap and water and contact the doctor
Risk factors of Rabies
- You’re at greatest risk of contracting rabies if your activities bring you into contact with the rabies virus.
- People at risk can include veterinarians, animal caretakers or handlers, laboratory workers, and people visiting bat-inhabited caves.
Treatment for Rabies
- Rabies Vaccine – this must preferably be given within 48 hours to be effective.
Self-care for Rabies
- All dogs and cats should be vaccinated against rabies every three years.