When a person is infected with the rabies virus
, the virus multiplies within the body until symptoms develop. This time period between infection and the onset of symptoms is called the incubation period. The rabies incubation period
may vary from a few days to several years, but is typically one to three months.
When the rabies
virus reaches the brain, it multiplies quickly and rabies symptoms begin. Over the next week, the rabies virus causes encephalitis
and ultimately death.
Early rabies symptoms in humans are similar to flu symptoms
These early symptoms can include:
- General tiredness
- Discomfort, numbness, or pain at the site of the bite.
Progressive Rabies Symptoms
As the disease progresses, neurological symptoms appear and may include:
- Slight or partial paralysis
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hydrophobia (fear of water).