Rabies Facts

Rabies Facts
Rabies is an infectious viral disease that almost always results in the death of the animal or human once symptoms have begun to appear. Once infected with the virus, it can take between one week and one year for the virus to show its symptoms - which depends on the time it takes to reach the victims central nervous system. Rabies is caused by lyssaviruses and is spread through saliva, or through bites, scratches, and other methods. The most common method rabies is spread is through dog bites and bat bites. There are rabies vaccinations that can be given to animals as well as to humans who may be at high risk for coming into contact with the virus. Once a person thinks they may have been infected they must receive treatment prior to the onset of symptoms or their chances of survival are almost zero.
Interesting Rabies Facts:
Thousands of people in underdeveloped countries die every year from rabies, most often due to the fact that there is a limited access to education about the virus and lack of health care.
The global target is to eradicate the number of human deaths due to rabies by 2030.
Both domestic (family pets) and wild animals can transmit rabies to humans.
The average onset of symptoms once infected is between two to three months but it can happen as quickly as a week or as long as a year after infection.
Once the symptoms of rabies appear the disease is considered fatal. It usually takes between 2-10 days once symptoms appear for an infected person to die.
Symptoms of rabies infection include fever, headaches, brain inflammation, partial paralysis, anxiety, insomnia, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, delirium, coma, and death.
Rabies has been found on every continent of the planet except for Antarctica.
It is estimated that about 99% of the 59,000 global deaths from rabies each year occur in Asia and Africa. The majority of those who die from rabies (80%) live in rural areas where access to healthcare is limited. Because these deaths occur in rural locations it is believed that the number of deaths due to rabies is not correct - as many go unreported.
In the Americas the most common way that rabies is transmitted to humans is through bats. In Africa and in Asia it is most often due to dog bites.
Foxes and skunks and raccoons do not often result in human deaths following bites as most people get rabies treatment following these encounters. Deaths from bites by animals other than dogs or from exposure to bats are rare.
It is estimated that 40% of rabies deaths occur in children under the age of 15 as they often approach and trust animals and don't talk about scratches or small bites.
After being bitten by any animal it is important to wash the wound immediately. This should last for 15 minutes and soap and water are essential. Usually vaccination following a bite is necessary.
Vaccinating dogs is one way to reduce the risk of exposure to rabies.

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