Long-Term Effects of Rabies

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Rabies
Rabies (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of hobvias sudoneighm)

Rabies is a highly infectious virus that is spread from animals to humans usually through the saliva of the infected animal. A typical route of transmission is through a bite or other contact with the saliva of the host animal.

Rabies Survival

It is difficult to use the words “long term” when discussing rabies, since as soon as symptoms appear in a human, death is almost certain within 7 to 10 days. The Center for Disease Control has only documented six cases in history of humans who demonstrated clinical signs and symptoms of rabies and survived.

Rabies Cause Of Death

Death from rabies is typically caused by encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain; or myelitis, which is an inflammation of the spinal cord.

Phobias

Many patients with rabies infections experience hydrophobia, which is the fear of water or swallowing; and aerophobia, which is fear of flying or of fresh air.

Hallucinations and Agitation

Since rabies causes swelling or inflammation of the brain, hallucinations and agitation often occurs in the patient. Also, slurred speech and disorientation can occur.

Paresthesia

Many patients with rabies infections experience paresthesia, or a tingling sensation in the arms and scalp.

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