Yesterday we had our second positive diagnosis of RABIES at our clinic in less than a year. Both cases have included human exposure. While most know that RABIES is a disease transmitted by animals, not all know the more basics aspects of this age old disease.
Rabies was reported as early as 2000 BC and has been noted in the literature ever since.
Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain. Symptoms include fear of water (hydrophobia), dullness to hyper excitability, incoordination, drooling and the inability to close the mouth, confusion and loss of consciousness. The disease travels the peripheral nerves and the distance from the bite dictates how long it takes to develop symptoms. The time it takes the virus to reach the brain will vary from a few days to months or longer. Once symptom occurs, the death rate is almost 100%.
The virus is usually present in the nerves and saliva of a symptomatic rabid animal. The route of infection is usually, but not always, through a bite. The disease is difficult to diagnose. The diagnosis of rabies is the fluorescent antibody test (FAT) and is performed on the brain of the suspected subject. If you suspect RABIES, consult your veterinarian.
Prevention is as simple as an injection. Cost of a year’s protection for your animal is usually less than $20. The cost of the treatment for rabies in humans is $5,000 and up.
WE HAVE HAD TWO POSITIVE RABIES CASES IN THE PAST YEAR!!
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