History of rabies states that this is actually a deadly virus that spreads among people from the saliva of the animal that is infected by the virus. The virus is generally transmitted through a bite from the animal. When it comes to the United States, animals like skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes and bats are known to spread this virus, while in the case of countries like India, the stray dogs are responsible for spreading this virus to humans. When an individual experiences symptoms of rabies, it means that the disease is already fatal. This is why it is recommended that any individual, who is at the risk of getting this virus infection, should get the appropriate vaccination to prevent it. Now, let us gather some details about this disease on account of the World Rabies Day.
Rabies in Cats:
As mentioned earlier, in India, mostly this virus is spread by stray dogs. But, rabies in cats is also common. When it comes to cats, it is stated that rabies virus can get into the body of cats through different routes. Like in humans, it might be passed to the cat when it is bitten by an infected dog or other animals. Even, it might get infected, when the saliva of an infected animal gets into its body through mucous membranes or through open fresh wound. When a cat is affected by this virus, the owner can notice changes in its behavior like the cat might showcase lethargy, restlessness and aggression. Non-vaccinated cats that are allowed to roam outside are at higher risk of getting this infection.
Treatment and drugs:
There is no specific treatment for rabies and the disease is generally fatal. So, if a man thinks that he is exposed to rabies virus, it is important that he should get a series of vaccinations to prevent the infection from getting hold. As soon a dog bites, it is better to get vaccination, regardless of whether it is an infected dog or not, assuming that the dog has this infection.
Shots for rabies:
· A quick-acting shot called as rabies immune globulin can be taken to prevent the infection from spreading. Part of this vaccination will be given by the doctor close to the place in which the dog bitten you if possible and it should be done as soon as possible.
· Not just a single vaccine, a series of vaccines might be needed as treatment for rabies, such that your body can rightly fight against the virus. You should get four shots over a period of 14 days in your arm.
When analyzing the history of rabies, this infection has claimed many lives just because the appropriate treatment was not given immediately after the infection has entered the body. Now, it is time to understand some facts about this disease on the World Rabies Day:
Some rabies facts to understand:
· Rabies is nearly everywhere: Yes, except in Antarctica, this virus is present everywhere in the world. When taking the case of US, it is stated that this virus is everywhere except in Hawaii.
· Rabies=Rage: The term ‘rabies’ was derived from a Latin term with meaning ‘to rage’. The reason for this is that animals affected by this virus acts violently and as the disease develops, the animals will showcase hypersensitivity even to light and sound and eventually, it will get into respiratory failure and lose life.
· Spread through saliva: As mentioned earlier, this infection spreads mainly through the saliva of the infected animal. Not just bitten wound from infected animal, but also a scratch can spread the virus.
· Difference in incubation period: Even though, the incubation period will differ from one animal to another, the typical incubation period will be between three to eight weeks as per American Humane Association. Even, it can take as less as 9 days and as more as several years for the infection to spread, but in rare cases.
· Rabies in cats: This is a rare occurrence as compared to the infection in dogs.
· Get your pet vaccinated: You can talk with your veterinary doctor to find the right time to get rabies vaccination for your pet. Dogs can be given these vaccines as early as 6-8 weeks, while cats can be given as early as 8 weeks.
The purpose of World Rabies Day celebrated on 28th of September each year is to ‘end rabies together’. So, keep yourself informed about rabies facts and stay protected and also keep your pets protected.