The Transfer of Rabies From Animal Bites
Animal bites can cause serious physical damage, but they can also result in a silent transfer of pathogens from an animal's body to yours. While studies show that dog mouths typically house less bacteria that human mouths, animals like dogs can also carry dangerous diseases in their saliva, such as rabies. Sadly, rabies often results in death.
Rabies is a virus that attacks the nervous system in mammals. Once you receive a bite from an animal infected with rabies, the virus will go from the animal's saliva to your muscle. The rabies virus will then travel to your brain. After you are bitten, it may take weeks or months for the virus to manifest itself as it moves up to the brain. This is called the incubation period.
After the incubation period is over, you may begin to show signs of a rabies infection. General symptoms of rabies include:
However, once in the brain, the virus can interfere with the normal functioning of your neural processes. A few days after you show your initial symptoms, you may notice problems like confusion and agitation. From here, your problems become worse; you can suffer from hallucinations and abnormal behavior. Once these symptoms of rabies appear, the virus typically cannot be stopped and is fatal.
After the virus causes an inflammation in the brain, it can move to the salivary glands. That is what causes foaming at the mouth, which is a stereotypical sign of rabies.
If you are bitten by an animal that may have rabies, you may want to try to trap the creature so that it can be officially tested for the virus. If not, you can undergo preventative treatment that is almost always effective in stopping the virus.
Pet owners are responsible for keeping their animals vaccinated as well as enclosed in a safe and secure yard or home. This way, you are not susceptible to rabid animal attacks. If a negligent pet owner has allowed his or her animal to attack you, you should not let this carelessness go unpunished.