A vaccine preventable disease
What is Rabies and how do we identify it?
History of Rabies
Rabies has been known about since 2000 B.C. and first written about in the Mesopotamian codex of Eshnunna.
The disease appears to have originated in the old world with the first case in this time period occurring in Boston in 1768 where it continued to spread eventually becoming common throughout North America.
The number of rabies related deaths in the united states has declined from more than 100 annually at the turn of the century to one or two per year in 1990s.
The modern day prophylaxis is nearly 100% effective. However if left un-diagnosed for long enough it will become fatal.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of the disease include:
-General flu like symptoms
-Itching or prickling at site of the bite
The symptoms then escalate to:
-even foaming of the mouth.
Once clinical signs begin to show the disease is almost always fatal.
Transmission of Rabies
Transmission occurs when infected saliva is introduced to an uninfected animal. The most common method of transmission is when an infected animal bites another uninfected animal and the saliva is passed on.
Although rare it has been contracted via, contamination of mucous membranes, aerosol transmission, and eye and organ transplants.
Complications of Rabies
What makes the rabies virus so difficult is the fact that once you begin to exhibit symptoms it is too late and almost always results in fatality for the infected subject. To be treated effectively the infected subject must be tested by a medical professional as soon as possible after being bitten or licked by a host they believe is carrying the virus.
The hardest thing about the rabies virus is that while it is easily curable it is up to the individual to get themselves tested before symptoms begin to show and its too late.