Rabies is a fatal virus that can be avoided. If bitten or scratched by a rabid animal, it can spread to humans and pets. Rabies is mostly found in wild animals in the United States, such as bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. However, dogs still carry rabies in many other countries, and dog bites are responsible for the majority of rabies deaths worldwide.
The central nervous system is infected by the rabies virus. If a person does not receive proper medical care after a possible rabies exposure, the virus can cause brain disease, which can lead to death. Rabies can be avoided by vaccinating pets, staying away from wildlife, and seeking medical attention as soon as possible after potential exposures.
WHAT IS RABIES?
Lyssaviruses, such as the rabies virus and the Australian bat lyssavirus, cause rabies. When an infected animal bites or scratches a human or another animal, the disease spreads. If saliva from an infected animal comes into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose, it can transmit rabies. Dogs are the most commonly involved animal worldwide. More than 99 percent of rabies cases in countries where dogs are commonly infected are caused by dog bites. Bat bites are the most common source of rabies infections in humans in the Americas, with dogs accounting for less than 5% of cases. Rabies is a disease that affects only a small percentage of rodents. Only after the onset of symptoms can the disease be diagnosed.
The virus can have one of two effects on the body:
• It enters the brain directly from the peripheral nervous system (PNS).
• It replicates in muscle tissue, where it is protected from the immune system of the host. The neuromuscular junctions allow it to enter the nervous system. The virus causes acute brain inflammation once it enters the nervous system. It's only a matter of time before you're in a coma and dying
There are two types of rabies: rabies and rabies.
• Encephalitic rabies, also known as furious rabies, is found in 80 percent of human cases. Hyperactivity and hydrophobia are more likely in this person.
• Paralytic rabies, also known as "dumb" rabies, is characterised by paralysis as a primary symptom.
HOW DO PEOPLE CATCH RABIES?
Rabies-infected animals spread the virus to other animals and humans through saliva after a bite or scratch. Any contact with the mucous membranes or an open wound, on the other hand, can spread the virus. This virus is thought to be transmitted only from animal to animal and from animal to human. While human-to-human transmission of the virus is extremely rare, a few cases have been reported after cornea transplantation. A bite from an unvaccinated dog is by far the most common cause of rabies in humans.
The virus spreads from a person's nerves to their brain once they have been bitten. Because of the location of the initial trauma, bites or scratches on the head and neck are thought to speed up the involvement of the brain and spinal cord. If you've been bitten on the neck, get medical help right away.
The rabies virus spreads to the brain through nerve cells after a bite. The virus multiplies quickly once it enters the brain. This activity results in severe inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, which leads to rapid deterioration and death.
CAN RABIES BE CURED?
You can receive a series of injections after being exposed to the rabies virus to prevent infection. Rabies immunoglobulin, which provides an immediate dose of rabies antibodies to combat infection, aids in the prevention of the virus gaining a foothold. Then, in order to avoid contracting rabies, you must get vaccinated. The rabies vaccine is administered in a five-shot series over the course of 14 days.
Animal control will almost certainly try to track down the animal that bit you so it can be tested for rabies. You can avoid the large round of rabies shots if the animal isn't rabid. If the animal cannot be located, the safest option is to administer the preventive shots.
The best way to avoid contracting rabies is to get vaccinated as soon as possible after being bitten by an animal. Doctors will clean your wound with soap and water, detergent, or iodine for at least 15 minutes. The rabies immunoglobin will then be given to you, and you will begin the round of rabies vaccine injections. The term for this procedure is "post-exposure prophylaxis."
HOW IS RABIES DIAGNOSED?
There's no way to tell if a wild animal has rabies right away. Doctors don't wait for a diagnosis before treating a person who has been bitten by or exposed to a sick animal. Lab tests can detect infection, but the results aren't available until late in the disease, when it's too late to treat.
A captured biting animal can be tested to see if the virus is present in its brain, but it must first be euthanized (put to sleep). If the pet is healthy, such as a dog, cat, or ferret, experts suggest keeping an eye on it for 10 days to see if it becomes ill. If the animal is a rabbit, rodent, or other small animal that isn't known to carry rabies, a doctor can consult with the local health department to determine what to do.
HOW IS RABIES TREATED?
There is no effective treatment for rabies once symptoms appear. This is why doctors emphasise prevention and try to halt the disease as soon as possible after a person has been exposed. Anyone who suspects they have been exposed to the rabies virus should seek medical attention immediately.
Doctors administer two shots as quickly as possible:
Rabies immune globulin: This provides immediate protection while the vaccine is being administered.
Rabies vaccine is given in a four-dose series on days 0, 3, 7, and 14. (day 0 is the day of the first dose). On day 28, people with a weakened immune system receive an additional dose.
INDIA AND RABIES
India has the highest rate of human rabies in the world, owing to an increase in the number of stray dogs since a 2001 law prohibiting dog killing. Puppy pregnancy syndrome, a type of mass hysteria, makes it difficult to effectively control and treat rabies in India (PPS). Male and female dog bite victims with PPS believe that puppies are growing inside them and seek help from faith healers rather than medical services. In India, an estimated 20,000 people die from rabies each year, accounting for more than a third of the global total.