Rabies is considered as a very dangerous virus which can lead to a life-threatening conditions to both animals and humans. Among all kinds of animal reported to be able to carry rabies virus, dogs are the most common cause of rabies in humans and fellow dogs. Rabies is caused by a vigorous virus which attacks nervous system. Humans might get the virus from animal’s bite and scratch. However, not all dogs, cats, and other suspected wild and stray animals have rabies inside them. Because of this, it is really important for you to understand signs and symptoms which occur if you are bitten by rabid animals. By broaden your knowledge about this, you will be able to treat the rabies immediately before the virus spread all over the nervous system.
Signs and symptoms of rabies in humans
Rabies is a fatal virus, and in humans, fatalities occur when bitten people fail to seek for medical assistance as they do not recognize specific signs and symptoms of rabies. When you are bitten by an animal, you might want to observe whether there are some signs of rabies in the attacking animal, which include:
- Animals with foaming at the mouth.
- Animals with unprovoked aggressiveness—even attacking inanimate objects, or overly friendly.
- Disoriented animals—often wander aimlessly, sometimes stumbling and falling.
- Paralyzed animals—the first stage of paralysis caused by rabies is throat and hind leg paralysis.
- Nocturnal animals which are active during the day. Although not always, this can be one of possible signs of rabies.
- Sudden behavior changes, especially in eating and drinking habits.
Those signs might indicate that the animal can possibly be exposed with rabies virus, and hence, you might need to observe the symptoms of rabies developed in humans in order to consider further medical assistance to avoid life-threatening effects.
- Typical rabies incubation period in humans is quite long—1 to 2 months, but can also be less than 10 days.
- Rabies develops flu-like symptoms, including body weakness, fever, and headache, which last for several days. Some people also feel chills, muscles aches, and irritability.
- Throbbing, tingling, and painful sensation occurs around the wound site, where the animal has bitten. This can also be accompanied with redness and swelling which worsen within days.
- Rabies may trigger high fever which will develop hallucinations and leads into insomnia.
- The virus attacks nervous system, which ends in difficulty in swallowing and in some people, leads into hydrophobia—phobia of water which is caused by severe difficulty in swallowing. People suffered from rabies, therefore, will respond negatively when approached to water. Their hydrophobia comes from rabies effect on developing irregular contractions and spasms of breathing muscles when exposed to water.
- Rabies also causes extreme nausea and vomiting.
- Virus attack on the nervous system, causing disorientation resulted in confusion, anxiety, agitation, and hyperactivity.
- When the infection has spread thoroughly, various organs, muscles, and nerves are affected. Hence, partial paralysis may occur. This paralysis may occur primarily to the bitten area. the victim is not able to move this bitten part of the body, and this may spread to the next organs.
When to seek medical assistance
It is helpful if you are able to identify signs and symptoms of rabies immediately after you are bitten by supposedly rabid animals. Hence, some considerations related to animal bites can be put in mind.
- See a doctor immediately after you get bitten by animals, whether domestic or wild ones. Perform immediate wound care and go to the hospital afterwards to get the wounded site observed.
- If you see the attacking animal clearly, give the descriptions physically and behaviorally to the doctor, so that it can be determined whether or not you are exposed to the possibility of rabies.
- If you are bitten by domestic animal, make sure that the animal is immediately isolated for observation. Tell the doctor if you spot behavioral differences on your dogs, cats, and other home pets.
- Ask for a quick-effect vaccine and keep observing the signs and symptoms of rabies which may or may not occur during healing process. Visit the doctor when you feel that the wound is worsening and you develop suspicious symptoms.