Rabies: Prevention, Symptoms and Cure on this World Rabies Day
Created by Anubhav Srivastava Updated on Sep 28, 2018
Rabies is primarily caused by a virus that is usually spread after the bite or scratch of an animal especially dogs. By the time the symptoms appear, it may be late. Hence an early precaution and pro-active measures are needed to curb its spread.
Every year on 28 September World Rabies Day is celebrated. It is celebrated to raise awareness around and about rabies prevention and to highlight progress in the medical world in defeating this horrifying virus spread disease.
Prevention From Rabies
Rabies is caused by RNA virus of the rhabdovirus family. The virus can affect the body in any of these two ways viz.
- It enters the peripheral nervous system (also called as PNS) directly and migrates to the brain leading to issues and disorders within the brain.
- It replicates within muscle tissue and in turn enters the nervous system through the neuromuscular junctions.
To prevent this to happen we should have to restrict exposure of our children with animals such as stray dogs which are present in large numbers. Apart from stray dogs animals like raccoons, coyotes, bats, skunks, and foxes also spread rabies.
Symptoms Of Rabies
Rabies symptoms are generally late and all the necessary medication and treatment has to start early-on to prevent it to happen. Usually the symptoms can be seen from 3 to 12 weeks, but it can take as little as 5 days or more than 2 years also. Below are the list of symptoms at the onset of rabies which sounds similar to early flu-like symptoms
- a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or above
- feeling generally unwell
- sore throat and a cough
- nausea and vomiting
- discomfort may occur at the site of the bite
If the same is not treated this could further lead to various disorders. Some of the common ones are:
- partial paralysis, involuntary muscle twitching, and rigid neck muscles
- convulsions, hyperventilation and difficulty breathing
- hypersalivation or producing a lot of saliva, and possibly frothing at the mouth
- fear of water, or hydrophobia
- hallucinations, nightmares, and insomnia
- photophobia, or a fear of light
Treatment Of Rabies
In case if the child is bitten or scratched by an animal (especially a stray dog) that may have rabies, or if it licks an open wound, here are the proposed treatments you should immediately do.
- The child should immediately get a thorough wash for at least 15 minutes with soapy water, povidone iodine solution, or detergent. This can help in the spread of the bacteria to get into the body.
- A fast-acting dose of rabies immune globulin to be injected to the child as soon as possible, close to the bite wound, this can prevent the virus from infecting the child. You could consult your nearest paediatrician or a hospital for it.
- A series of rabies vaccines post the above treatment can be injected into the arm for the next 2 to 4 weeks. These will train the body to fight the virus whenever it finds it.
Rabies can be stopped from spreading further if the above treatment is done immediately after a child is bitten or scratched by an animal. Awareness from this disease is its cure! And with proper dosages of the prescribed vaccinations your child can lead a healthy life. So this Rabies day spread this awareness and share the blog to your fellow parents...