Things to Know About Rabies
Rabies is a fatal acute viral infection of the central nervous system, and it is one of the most terrifying diseases which afflicts mankind.
Although the disease is more prevalent in tropical countries, it occurs worldwide, and its incidence is ever increasing.
The disease is usually caused by the bite of a rabid dog. The virus of rabies is present in the saliva of the rabid dog, and when such a dog bites a person, the saliva infected with the rabies-virus is transmitted into the body of the victim.
Although the disease commonly occurs through the bite of a rabid dog, it may also manifest itself following the bite of a cat, wolf, jackal, monkey, cow, buffalo, etc. However, rat-bite does not cause rabies.
A bite is the usual mode of transmission of the disease. However, it may also occur if virus-laden saliva comes in contact with broken skin or a wound, or if one is licked by an infected animal. After being bitten by a rabid dog, the rabies virus becomes sequestered, ie it remains dormant at the site of the bite, without causing any harm to the patient. From here the virus travels slowly along the nerves of the bitten extremity, and reaches the central nervous system. It is interesting to note that while the virus travels along the nerves, it does not cause any significant damage to these nerves. On the other hand, it causes extensive damage to the central nervous system, making the condition of the patient horrible. It may, therefore, be said that the rabies virus truly acts like a thief. It gets into the body and ~ limbs to the central nervous system with the help of the nerves, without causing any serious harm either to the nerves or to the site of the bite from where it has entered.
The virus also reaches the salivary glands through the nerves and reaches the saliva either of the man or of the animal whom a rabid animal has bitten. This is how the disease is transmitted through the saliva of a rabid animal. However, transmission from man to man does not occur. But, at the same time, all precautions must be taken by the family members / friends and all others who come in contact with the patient. They should all take preventive measures and, in any case, the saliva of the patient containing virus, should not come in their contact especially with a wound / abrasion / cut, otherwise they are also likely to be infected. Gloves, aprons, face-masks, caps, glasses, etc., should be used. When the patient becomes violent, he may spit saliva on the persons / attendants standing nearby. Moreover, there is also excessive secretion of saliva in these cases.
Following the bite, urgent steps of treatment, ie, care of the wound, etc., including vaccination are required to be taken, so that the disease does not manifest itself in clinical form. Once the clinical manifestations appear, the patient dies within seven days. However, the following symptomatology of the disease is required to be known to all so that those who are still ignorant can be helped, and necessary early steps of treatment can be taken, with the hope of saving the life of the afflicted person.