World Rabies Day is the first and only global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention. It is an opportunity to unite as a community and for individuals, NGOs and governments to connect and share their work.
September 28th 2019 will be the 13th World Rabies Day, and this year’s theme focuses on vaccination, the foundation of all rabies control efforts.
Warning Signs Of Rabies
Rabies usually occurs due to a bite from a wild mammal such as a raccoon, fox, bat, skunk, or stray dog. The virus spreads through the saliva. Any mammal, including humans, may contract the illness. The disease is preventable even though it is a virus.
The damaging virus attacks the central nervous system, causing brain damage and eventually death if the rabies infection is not treated. Initially, the disease exhibits certain flu-like symptoms. If not addressed, rabies symptoms advance to insomnia, anxiety, partial paralysis, hallucinations, excess saliva (drooling), trouble swallowing, and fear of water. The rabid individual dies within days of the last symptoms occurring. Get to know the warning signs now.
Flu Like Symptoms
The first symptoms of rabies resemble the flu. They include feeling weak or uncomfortable, a fever, and a headache. The area around the bite may itch or feel prickly too. These symptoms last for several days before they move from this early acute period to the more serious, clinical period.
The acute time of rabies lasts from two to ten days. It is crucial for a person with suspected rabies to be treated during the initial, or acute, period of the disease. When rabies reaches the more advanced, or clinical, period, the chances of the patient surviving are very limited. So, if a person has recently been bitten by a mammal and starts exhibiting flu-like symptoms, it is imperative to receive medical care as soon as possible.
Hallucinations are unusual or distorted sensory experience caused by stress or illness. These sensory distortions happen because the mechanism that distinguishes the aspects of the senses from memory-based perception is not working correctly or misfire due to rabies, other diseases, drug use, or mental and physical illnesses.
Any of the senses can be affected by these false feelings. Individuals with rabies commonly experience this unique sensory experience. They may hear sounds that aren’t there, or they may have visual abnormalities where they see objects or people no one else can see. False sensory events may also occur including feeling like something is crawling on their skin when nothing is on their body.
Hydrophobia was another term for rabies in bygone days gone. It was used because individuals with advancing rabies can appear to be afraid of water. So, in the case of it being a symptom of rabies, hydrophobia is an abnormal fear of water that interferes with an individual’s daily activities.
One of the reasons for this fear of water is that drinking fluids with clinical rabies cause severe, painful spasms in a person’s throat. Symptoms of this disease also include increased heart rate, feeling nauseous, an inability to clearly speak or think, a false concept they are going to die, or a panic attack.
Because the rabies virus attacks the brain, an individual with rabies will feel extreme agitation in the later phases of developing the rabies virus. The behavior of a person due to rabies remains beyond any usual behaviors of annoyance that has been seen before.
Symptoms of being agitated include feeling aggravated, restless, or annoyed. In the case of rabies-based agitation, there is no situational reason for the patient to feel agitated. These agitated feelings can be brought on by many situational and medical conditions. But if a person who has recently been bitten has had flu symptoms and then becomes agitated, please seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Many situations can cause excess salivation in the mouth. If an individual has excessive salivation, they have so much saliva in their mouth that they drool. They can’t swallow enough to keep the saliva from collecting around their mouth. Individuals with excess salivation due to rabies want to spit and feel like they can’t keep up with the extra saliva by merely swallowing.
One of the primary ways rabies spreads is through being bitten by a rabid animal. The rabies disease is shared through the saliva of the infected animal entering a cut or bite. Eventually, the individual exposed to the rabies virus will salivate a large amount of fluid. So if an individual thinks a rabies-infected animal may have bitten them, and especially if they have flu symptoms, they need to be examined for rabies as soon as possible. Rabies can also be transmitted through the air, via mucous membranes, and through organ and corneal transplants, but these occasions are extremely rare.
Keeping your pet up to date on vaccinations will always be the best control effort!