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.
y a rabid dog. However, the availability of vaccines for both animals and humans has led to a steep decline in rabies cases in the United States, where there are two to three rabies deaths a year.
12 weeks for a person to develop rabies symptoms once they’re infected. However, incubation periods can also range from a few days to six years. The initial onset of rabies begins with flu-like symptoms, including:
Furious Rabies. Infected people who develop furious rabies will be hyperactive and excitable and may display erratic behavior. Other symptoms include:
Paralytic Rabies. This form of rabies takes longer to set in, but the effects are just as severe. Infected people slowly become paralyzed, will eventually slip into a coma, and die. According to the World Health Organization, 30 percent of rabies cases are paralytic.
Can Rabies Be Cured? After being exposed to the rabies virus, you can have a series of injections to prevent an infection from setting in. Rabies immunoglobulin, which gives you an immediate dose of rabies antibodies to fight the infection, helps to prevent the virus from getting a foothold. Then, getting the rabies vaccine is the key to avoiding the disease. The rabies vaccine is given in a series of five shots over 14 days. Animal control will probably try to find the animal that bit you so that it can be tested for rabies. If the animal isn’t rabid, you can avoid the large round of rabies shots. However, if the animal can’t be found, the safest course of action is to take the preventive shots.