What is Rabies?

Rabies is a viral disease that is spread through the animal bite such as the dog. It is caused by the infection of rabies virus. The infection caused by this leads to encephalomyelitis i.e the inflammation of the brain as well as the spinal cord. The transmission of the virus happens through the saliva and affects the CNS or Central nervous system. This virus belongs to a family called Rhabdoviridae. It takes the shape of a bullet.

Animals such as dogs, rabbits, cats, fox and etc. carry this virus and transmit the disease to human beings. Usually, this disease causes about 24,000 – 60,000 deaths worldwide per year.

How Rabies is Transmitted

The below figure shows how the Rabies disease is infected by the virus.

How Rabies is transmitted

The dog which is affected by rabies transmits the disease to the human through the saliva. This virus enters into the tissues of the human body and starts to multiply. The transmission of disease sometimes might even happen by an animal to animal also. After it has affected the tissues, the virus travels to the central nervous system through the spinal cord. Then it reaches the brain and causes serious brain disorder called encephalitis which in-turn causes a number of symptoms to arouse in the human body. There are chances of it causing the death of the person.

The disease has an incubation period of about 3-12 weeks, later it progresses with various symptoms.

Symptoms Of Rabies

The symptoms caused by the dog bite or rabies are given below-

  • Develop fear from water
  • Swelling in the brain and the spinal cord
  • Frequent headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomachache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Severe fever
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucination
  • Excess secretion of saliva
  • Difficulty in swallowing

Control and Prevention of Rabies

Prevention is better than cure. Rabies is an infectious disease that is preventable. Following measures can reduce the infection to nearly high extents. Some of the measures are given below-

  • Get rabies vaccination to prevent the infection.
  • Vaccinating your pet against the disease.
  • Maintain distance with the wild animals.
  • Wash wounds with soap and water and maintain good hygiene.
  • Keep your pets away from the other stray dogs.
  • Prevent bats wandering around your campuses and living places.

To know more about Rabies, visit BYJU’S.

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