Categories: Disease A-Z

What is What is Rabies (Crazy Dog Disease)? ? – A-Z Disease

Definition

What is rabies?

Rabies, or also known as mad dog disease, is an infectious disease caused by the rabies virus. A person can get this disease if bitten by an animal infected with the virus.

Generally, the rabies virus is found in wild animals. Some wild animals that spread the virus are skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes. However, in some countries, there are still many pets that carry the virus, including cats and dogs.

If someone who is stricken with the virus starts experiencing various symptoms, there may have been damage to the central nervous system and brain. This condition can be fatal, often even leading to death.

Therefore, to prevent the spread of this disease, you and your pet must be vaccinated. In addition, if you are bitten by an animal potentially infected with the virus, consult a doctor immediately before any symptoms appear.

How common is rabies?

Rabies is a fairly common disease in several countries. Every year, this disease causes about 59,000 deaths.

Although many rabies vaccine programs have been carried out, especially for stray dogs, there are still many cases that occur due to dog bites. As many as 90 to 99% of rabies cases occur due to the bite of a dog infected with a virus.

Deaths from this disease occur most often in countries that do not have adequate health facilities, especially in Asia and Africa. In addition, the lack of socialization of the dangers of rabies and its prevention also affect the high number of cases of this disease.

This disease can occur at any age, but most cases are found in children aged 15 years and under. The percentage of events is around 40%.

In addition, high risk groups include children living in areas prone to animal bite infections, and people traveling to remote areas where health conditions are still underdeveloped.

This disease can be prevented by recognizing risk factors that can be avoided. To find out more information about this disease, you can consult your doctor.

Signs & Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of rabies?

In general, signs and symptoms of rabies appear gradually. The process of developing this disease can be divided into four stages:

1. Incubation period

This is the period before symptoms appear, that is when the body begins to be infected by a virus. The period from viral infection to the appearance of the first symptoms lasts for an average of 35 to 65 days.

When symptoms have appeared, rabies is usually classified as fatal. Therefore, seek medical help immediately if bitten by an animal without waiting for symptoms to appear.

2. Prodrome

When entering this period, the patient will feel the initial symptoms such as:

  • Fever reaches 38 degrees Celsius or more
  • Headache
  • Worry
  • Feel the body is not healthy overall
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Nausea, accompanied by vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain or numbness in the area bitten

This condition can last for 2 to 10 days. Over time, the symptoms will get worse.

3. Acute neurological disorders

In the next stage, sufferers begin to experience acute nervous system disorders, such as:

  • Feeling confused, restless, and restless
  • More aggressive and hyperactive
  • Sometimes it goes through a quiet period
  • Muscle cramps and paralysis may occur
  • Excessive breathing (hyperventilation), sometimes difficulty breathing
  • Produce more saliva
  • Fear of water (hydrophobia)
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Hallucinating, having bad dreams, and insomnia
  • Permanent erection in men
  • Fear of light (photophobia)

Over time, sufferers will experience difficulty breathing that is quite severe.

4. Coma and death

If the disease is not treated immediately after being bitten, sufferers will almost always enter a coma phase.

Unfortunately, coma due to rabies often leads to death in just a matter of hours, unless the sufferer is connected to a ventilator. Death usually occurs from day 4 to day 7 after symptoms first appear.

There may be some signs or symptoms not mentioned above. If you have concerns about a symptom, consult your doctor.

When should I see a doctor?

Seek immediate medical attention if you are bitten by any animal, including pets. Depending on the injury and the situation when the bite occurred, you and your doctor can decide if you should receive treatment to prevent this disease.

Even if you are not sure you have been bitten, seek medical attention. The body of each patient shows various signs and symptoms. To get the treatment that best suits your health condition, seek immediate medical help.

Cause

What causes rabies?

The cause of rabies is a virus called Rhadovirus in the saliva of infected animals. Infected animals can spread the virus by biting other animals or humans.

In rare cases, the disease can spread when infected saliva enters open sores or mucous membranes, such as the mouth or eyes. This can happen if an infected animal licks your open wound.

What are the animals that carry the rabies virus?

Generally, this disease virus is carried by mammals or mammals. These animals include:

1. Pets and livestock

The following are animals and livestock that may carry the rabies virus:

  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Cow
  • Goat
  • Horse

2. Wild animals

Some types of wild animals can also transmit this virus, such as:

  • Bat
  • Monkey
  • Raccoon
  • Fox
  • Beaver
  • Skunk

In very rare cases, the virus can spread from the organ transplant process, if the organ used has been infected with the virus.

Risk factors

What increases my risk of rabies?

Rabies is a disease that can affect everyone from various age groups and races. However, there are several factors that can increase a person's risk of developing this disease.

Having one or all of these risk factors does not mean you can be assured of developing this disease. There is also a small possibility that someone will get the disease even though they don't have any risk factors.

The following are risk factors that can trigger the emergence of this disease:

1. Living in developing countries

If you live in developing countries, especially in areas with health facilities and inadequate understanding, your risk for this disease is higher.

2. Traveling to areas with high incidence cases

If you travel or visit countries with a fairly high disease incidence, such as countries in Africa and Southeast Asia, your chances of contracting the virus are greater.

3. Doing activities outdoor

Conducting activities that allow you to deal with wild animals, such as exploring caves with bats, or camping without preventing the entry of wild animals, can increase your risk of this disease.

4. Work as a veterinarian or often handle animals

If you are a veterinarian, or you have a job that allows you to make contact with animals such as zoo keepers, your chances of getting infected with the virus are greater.

5. Work in a laboratory to study the rabies virus

If you are a laboratory worker who is conducting research on Rhadovirus, your risk for infection is higher.

6. Have pets or livestock that have not been vaccinated

If you have pets like dogs and cats, or farm animals like cows and goats, make sure you have vaccinated these animals.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information available is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor.

What are the most common tests to diagnose rabies?

Your biting animal must be caught to test whether it has rabies or not. When an animal bites you, there is no way to know whether the animal has spread the virus to you.

Therefore, consult a doctor immediately if you are bitten by an animal that has the potential to carry the virus. Do not delay until symptoms appear.

Treatment to prevent viral infections will be done if the doctor thinks that there is a possibility you have been exposed to the virus.

What are the treatment options for rabies?

When you have been infected with a virus, it is difficult to get effective treatment. Although there are some survivors, this disease is generally fatal and difficult to overcome.

However, if you immediately see a doctor before symptoms appear, your chances of survival will be greater.

1. What to do after being bitten by an animal with rabies

If you have been bitten or scratched by animals at risk of carrying the virus, do the following:

  • Clean the wound with running water and soap for several minutes
  • Cover the wound with a simple bandage
  • Go to the nearest medical service center, hospital, or general practitioner

2. Treatment for people who are bitten

If you are bitten by an animal that has the potential to carry the virus, you will immediately be given several injections to prevent viral infection.

Rabies injections used are:

  • Injections with fast reactions (immunoglobulin)

This injection is useful to prevent the occurrence of viral infections quickly. Especially if you experience bites and open sores from animals infected with rabies. The medical team will inject the injured area as soon as possible after you are bitten.

Vaccination shots help the body recognize and fight viral infections. Vaccination will be given 4 times for 1 month if you have no previous vaccine history, and 2 times if you have been vaccinated before.

Prevention

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help prevent rabies?

You can reduce your risk of this disease by taking the steps below:

1. Give your pet vaccination

Your cat and dog must be protected from being infected with the virus. Therefore, make sure you take your pet to the vet and ask the doctor to give the vaccination injection.

2. Keep your pet from the outside environment

Try to keep your pet from having too much contact with the outside world. This can prevent your pet from exposure to viruses from wild animals.

3. Report the presence of wild animals to the authorities

If you see wild animals in your area, report it to the authorities. Usually there will be an institution or party that will accommodate these wild animals and provide vaccinations.

4. Vaccinate before traveling abroad

If you are going to travel to a country or region with the potential for transmission of this disease, you should take precautions with vaccination injections.

If you have questions, consult your doctor to understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment

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