Featured Rabies Articles
Descriptions of Featured Rabies Articles
Rabies, a viral disease affecting the nervous system, is most commonly transmitted through an animal bite. This eMedTV article discusses the transmission, treatment, and diagnosis of rabies, and explains which animals are most likely to have rabies.
For people with rabies, symptoms may begin with fever, headache, and general tiredness. As this eMedTV article explains, however, symptoms of rabies that may occur as the disease progresses can include anxiety, partial paralysis, and confusion.
The rabies virus is an RNA virus that attacks the nervous system in mammals, including humans. This eMedTV page describes how the virus is transmitted (usually by an animal bite) and explains how rabies may cause serious symptoms and even death.
In most cases, the rabies vaccine is given after a person has been exposed to rabies. As discussed in this eMedTV article, when the vaccine is administered before the onset of symptoms, it is extremely effective.
As this eMedTV article explains, post-exposure rabies treatment involves a series of injections with rabies immune globulin and rabies vaccine. While this treatment is extremely effective, it must be started before the onset of symptoms.
If you are bitten by a bat, don't wait to seek medical attention. This eMedTV article discusses bats and rabies, including information about what to do if there is a bat in your house and tips for bat-proofing your home.
What Causes Rabies?
What causes rabies? As discussed in this portion of the eMedTV Web site, rabies may be caused by a bite from an infected animal, non-bite exposure, or human-to-human transmission. In most cases, what causes rabies is a bite from a rabid animal.
Scientific Name for Rabies
The scientific name for rabies is the rabies virus, a member of the Rhabdoviridae family of viruses. This eMedTV article discusses the classification of the rabies virus, which belongs to the genus Lyssavirus.
Animals With Rabies
Wild animals with rabies accounted for 93 percent of reported cases of rabid animals in the United States. This eMedTV Web page provides statistics concerning rabies in both wild and domestic animals in the United States.
This eMedTV selection looks at how testing is conducted in humans and animals suspected of having rabies. As this article points out, human testing often involves taking saliva, blood, and other types of tests.
A bite from an infected animal is the most common way to transmit rabies. This eMedTV Web page describes how the disease may also be transmitted through non-bite exposure or human-to-human exposure (which has only been documented in transplant cases).
Rabies and Squirrels
Any mammal can become infected with rabies, and squirrels are no exception; however, as discussed in this eMedTV segment, squirrels have not been known to cause rabies in humans in the U.S. Squirrels, like most other small rodents, rarely get rabies.
Factors doctors consider when making a rabies diagnosis may include the species of animal involved. This eMedTV resource examines other factors involved in diagnosing rabies, such as the animal's vaccination status and where the incident took place.
Rabies Incubation Period
The rabies incubation period can vary, but it usually lasts one to three months. This eMedTV page discusses the incubation period for rabies and explains that animals are not contagious during this period between infection and the onset of symptoms.
Statistics on Rabies
Statistics on rabies show that 7,437 cases of rabies in animals were reported in the U.S. during 2001. This eMedTV article provides statistics on rabies, including information about the prevalence of the disease among animals and humans.
Cost of Rabies
The cost of rabies prevention in the United States exceeds $300 million each year. This eMedTV Web page discusses rabies-related costs, including the cost per human life saved from rabies, which ranges from approximately $10,000 to $100 million.
How to Prevent Rabies
One of the best ways to prevent rabies involves keeping pet vaccinations up to date. This eMedTV page discusses how to prevent rabies and offers suggestions for preventing the disease in animals and humans.
Is Rabies a Common Disease?
Is rabies a common disease? As explained in this portion of the eMedTV archives, rabies is not a common disease in the United States; in fact, there was only one human case of rabies reported in the U.S. during 2001.