Community Health

What is Rabies Virus?

Is a contagious and fatal viral disease of dogs and other mammals that causes madness and convulsions, transmissible through the saliva to humans. It is a virus that may affect the brain and spinal cord of all mammals.
Also known as an acute viral disease of the central nervous system that affects humans and other mammals but is most common in carnivores (flesh-eaters)
It is sometimes referred to as a Zoonsis, or disease of animals that can be communicated to humans. Rabies is almost exclusively transmitted through saliva from the bite of an infected animal.
What is the Causes Rabies?
Symptoms/Signs of Rabies
The initial symptoms of rabies are mild, but they quickly become serious.
Advance Symptoms/Signs of Rabies Initial symptoms of rabies last for two to 10 days before more severe symptoms start to develop.


How to diagnose Rabies
Doctors suspect rabies when people have any of  symptoms mention above, especially if people have been bitten by an animal such as dog or exposed to bats. However, many people with rabies are unaware of having been bitten by an animal or exposed to bats.

The incubation period

The incubation period for rabies is usually two to 12 weeks, although it can be as short as four days. It is unusual for the incubation period to last for more than a year. i.e the time that it will take before the symptoms show after it has be contacted ranges from two to eight weeks.
How to Prevent Rabies
Treatment for Rabies
There are two types of rabies vaccine injections.
There are two different types of rabies vaccines licensed for use
If given properly and on schedule, both of types will protect you against rabies.
Clean the bitten area and bite very thoroughly with water and soap. Once bitten, you should clean the wound thoroughly with a lot of soap and water as soon as possible. Washing the bite right away will lower the chance of infection.  The bite with clean water and apply several applications of soap to the wound. Use a disinfectant like povidone-iodine if you have any disinfectant on hand. Pour or dab some disinfectant on to the wound. The disinfectant will kill off the virus before it can infect the person who has been bitten. Most importantly, take a full bath wash the eyes, nose, and mouth if they came into contact with the animal’s saliva, as in some cases, the virus can pass through the mucus membrane of a person’s eye, nose, or mouth.
Take the bitten person to the hospital immediately after cleaning the wound. After you have thoroughly rinsed the bite, take the person to the hospital right away. Once there, tell the nurse and doctor exactly what happened so that proper treatment can begin right away. The doctor will inspect the wound to ensure that it is clean and that there are no signs of bone or tissue damage.
A loose dressing will be applied on top of the wound to prevent any microbes from entering the bite. The wound should not be stitched because this increases the chance of exposing the nerve endings to the virus therefore increasing the chances of being infected. Then a laboratory tests would be conducted to determine whether or not the rabies virus is present. The test would be the skin and saliva of the patient where a specimen is taken to the laboratory for analysis. The doctor will discuss the person’s history to determine the level of contact the person had with the infected animal. This will help in determining the chances of infection and the need for treatment. If the infected person has not taken tetanus injection for a very long time he or she would be asked to take tetanus injection, this of course, is to prevent tetany, another issue that can occur from being bitten by an animal.
Tetanus injections are given on first contact, at 2 months, 3 months, and 4 months, 1 year and after 13-18 years. 
Take antibiotics. To keep infection from occurring, the bitten person will be given antibiotics. The most common antibiotic for the prophylaxis treatment of rabies is amoxicillin clavulanate (augmentin).


The augmenting is generally recommended as 1G taken twice a day for 14 days.
Be ready for a series of anti-rabies vaccines if the rabies virus is present. The bitten person will be given an anti-rabies vaccine called (HRIG) Human rabies immune globulin. This shot is injected into the hip and site of the bite for a rapid protection against the rabies infection. The immunoglobulin acts by producing antibodies specifically made to neutralize the virus and stop it from spreading.
These injections are usually given on initial contact with the rabies virus, third day, seventh day, fourteenth day and 28th day. After the shot in the hip and bite site on the first day, the rest of the shots will be injected into the arm.
If the person has already had a rabies vaccine, the person will be given two doses. The first dose will be give on the day the person was bit and then the second dose will be given three to seven days later.
Know that there will be some tenderness where the vaccine gets injected. The bitten person may experience some tenderness, swelling, pain and redness at the injection site. These symptoms usually clear on their own and will generally not last more than 24 hours.
Home Remedies/Home Cure for Rabies
You can ward off infection with the following home remedies for rabies until you have a chance to see a doctor:

a) Soap and Water:

One of the first things you should do when coming in contact with a suspected rabid animal is wash the scratch, bite, and open sore with soap and water. The next thing you should do is immediately call your doctor and local health department.

b) Vitamin C:

If you have an infection associated with rabies, taking a vitamin C supplement or eating foods high in the vitamin will help fight the infection. Food suggestions include guavas, red peppers, fresh herbs, kiwi, cauliflower, and oranges [3].

c) Vitamin B:

Taking vitamin B will help produce antibodies, which will help fight infection. While you can take a supplement, you can also consume foods high in vitamin B, including cabbage, tomatoes, raspberries, celery, tangerines, watermelon, pineapple, and spinach.

d) Walnut:

In some circles, walnut is believed to help neutralize the poison of a rabid dog bite. To follow this remedy, grind equal amounts of walnut, salt and onion. Some have added honey to this concoction. Dress the wound with this mixture until you can get to a doctor.

e) Chinese Herbs:

If you happen to have skullcap in your home, practitioners of Chinese medicine have used skullcap to treat rabies-related convulsions for centuries.

f) Lavender:

Gardeners who plant a variety of herbs in their yard will find plenty of herbal remedies for a wide range of medical concerns. If you make a compress out of lavender and apply to a wound, it is believed to help it heal faster.

g) Garlic:

The natural antibiotic properties may help treat the aftereffects of a rabid dog bite. Some people have taken a few cloves of garlic three times daily to assist in wound healing.

h) Cumin Seeds:

Some believe that cumin seeds possess the ability to counter the toxic effects of a bite from a rabid dog. Grind about two teaspoons of cumin seeds and 20 black peppercorns. Add the ingredients to water, and then apply the remedy to a dog bite wound.

i) Echinacea Tea:

A tea brewed with Echinacea may help speed up the wound healing process of an infected bite, as well as give a boost to the immune system.