Long-Term Effects of Rabies


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.


  • 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.


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

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of hobvias sudoneighm
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