Rabies is a viral disease that can be deadly if contracted. It is spread through contact with the saliva of infected animals, or their scratches and bites. The best way to prevent rabies infections is through vaccination and avoiding contact with wild animals. However, it is still possible to become infected, so it is important to be aware of the symptoms, treatment options, and precautionary measures to keep yourself and your family safe.
Signs & Symptoms of Rabies
The early symptoms of rabies are usually similar to those of the flu, such as fever, headache, nausea, and a general feeling of weakness. As the disease progresses, more serious symptoms may occur, such as difficulty swallowing, agitation, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, hallucinations, and seizures. In the advanced stages, paralysis of the muscles and respiratory system, coma, and eventually death may occur. As these symptoms appear, the infected individual should get medical attention immediately.
Prevention and Vaccination
The best way to protect yourself from rabies is to be aware of the risks and take the necessary steps to prevent rabies infection. Avoid contact with wild animals, especially stray or feral cats and dogs that can carry the virus. If you are bitten or scratched by any animal, seek medical attention as soon as possible and follow the doctor’s recommendations.
Vaccination is also a key part of preventing rabies infection. If you are at high risk of contact with wild animals, such as hunters or frequent travelers to regions with a high prevalence of rabies, you should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Additionally, it is recommended to have pets vaccinated for rabies.
Rabies Treatment Options
Once infected with the rabies virus, it is important to get the proper treatment as soon as possible. The traditional rabies treatment consists of a series of five shots over a period of 28 days. It is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions and complete the entire course of treatment to protect against the virus.
Post Exposure Prophylaxis
If there is a known exposure to rabies, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is recommended to prevent the virus from entering the body. PEP is a combination of rabies immune globulin and antirabies vaccinations and must be provided as soon as possible after exposure.
Overall Health and Safety
It is also important to take preventive measures to protect your overall health and safety. Make sure to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly and avoiding contact with animals that may carry rabies. Additionally, do not leave food or raw meat out in the open as this can attract wild animals. By taking the necessary precautions, you can help prevent exposure to rabies and enjoy a safe and healthy life.