The development of the virus concept as reflected in corpora of studies on individual pathogens. 4. Rabies--Two millennia of ideas and conjecture on the aetiology of a virus disease.

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The development of the virus concept as reflected in corpora of studies on individual pathogens. 4. Rabies--Two millennia of ideas and conjecture on the aetiology of a virus disease.

Publication Date
Jan 01, 1977
Source
PMC
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Medicine
License
Unknown

Abstract

Rabies: Questions and Answers Immunization Action Coalition • St. Paul, MN 55104 • (651) 647-9009 • www.vaccineinformation.org • www.immunize.org www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4216.pdf • Item #P4216 (8/13) Rabies: Questions and Answers Information about the disease and vaccines Technical content reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Page 1 of 4 What causes rabies? Rabies is caused by a virus. The virus invades the central nervous system and disrupts its functioning. How does rabies spread? The rabies virus is transmitted in the saliva of in- fected animals. People usually become infected with the virus by being bitten by an infected animal, but any contact with the saliva of an infected animal (alive or dead) can potentially lead to infection if the person has an opening in the skin or the saliva gets into their eyes, nose, or mouth. You cannot get rabies from the blood, urine, or feces of a rabid animal, or from just touching or petting an animal. How long does it take to show signs of rabies after being exposed? The incubation period of rabies is more variable than with other infections. The incubation period in hu- mans is usually several weeks to months, but ranges from days to years. What are the symptoms of rabies? The rabies virus attacks the nervous system (brain and spinal cord). The first symptoms of rabies are similar to a flu-like illness—fever, headache, and general discomfort. Within days, the disease can progress to symptoms such as anxiety, confusion, agitation, abnormal behavior, delirium, and hallu- cinations. Once symptoms appear, the disease is almost always fatal. Therefore, any person who has been bitten, scratched, or somehow exposed to the saliva of a potentially rabid animal should see a physician as soon as possible for postexposure treatment. How serious is rabies? Rabies is an extremely painful and deadly disease. As mentioned above, if prompt and appropriate post- exposure treatment is not

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