Rabies is a disease that is often associated with dogs [or bats perhaps] and a lot of painful shots. What you may not know about this disease could actually surprise you. Here are some of the important facts of rabies that aren’t always published.
1. It Is 100% Fatal
Why is it so important to get treatments for rabies if there is even the suspicion of disease transmission? Because rabies is always fatal once the symptoms of the disease begin to appear. The incubation time for rabies can vary from person to person. It might take just a week for rabies to appear and it may take a year. The average person typically sees symptoms, if left untreated, in 1-3 months.
2. It’s Tough to Spot
The symptoms of rabies are very vague and typically mimic the side effects of other diseases and illnesses. People with rabies may have a fever, a headache, and a pricking feeling around the site of the wound. What causes the fatalities, however, is the fact that the brain and spinal cord becomes swollen. This leads to hallucinations, insomnia, and eventually delirium.
3. There Are Two Types
You can actually get two different types of rabies. The first type is the one that is most commonly known and feared because it causes severe aggression. Known as “Furious Rabies,” one of the most unique aspects of this form of the disease is that it can create a severe fear of flying before it becomes fatal. Paralytic rabies is the second form of the disease and this accounts for about 30% of the total cases. This form of rabies causes a slow paralysis from the bite site until it causes a coma.
4. They Aren’t Stomach Shots
If you do need to receive the rabies vaccine, you won’t be getting the classic stomach shots that are typically associated with treatments these days. You’ll receive a shot in the muscle tissue of your upper arm. These shots are necessary because the only place where the rabies virus resides is within a person’s brain tissues. That’s why it is so impossible to treat once symptoms manifest themselves. The virus has to be eliminated through built-up antibodies against it.
5. Disinfecting a Wound Is Important
One of the best things someone can do if they’ve been bit by a potentially infected animal is to cleanse the wound under running water and an anti-bacterial soap for about 15 minutes. In many instances, this will kill off a vast majority of the bacteria that will be present at the wound site. From there, it is important to visit the doctor to get a professional opinion about future treatment steps. Not every bite victim needs to have the shots, but only a doctor can determine that because of the unique circumstances of every injury.
There cannot be any procrastination with rabies. Treatment must be sought immediately. When treatment is received, rabies can be defeated quite easily.