Rabies is a dangerous animal infection that can be transmitted to humans. It is considered a fatal disease that can result in death if not treated accordingly. Rabies is a preventable and treatable condition provided that you get the right kind of vaccination.
What is rabies?
Rabies is a deadly viral disease that usually infects animals, specifically mammals. Once the infection occurs, the virus causes inflammation in the brain that leads to a series of unusual behaviors. Since the virus is secreted through the saliva, human infection frequently happens after getting bitten by an infected animal. The most common carriers of this disease are usually dogs, cats, and bats. Rabies is rare in advanced nations like the US and Australia; however, it is common in developing countries like Africa and Southeast Asia. This is due to the abundance of stray dogs and cats living on the streets. Other animals like coyotes, skunks, raccoons, and other mammals are also at risk of transmitting the disease.
Risks and preventive measures
Anyone can get rabies once they come in contact with a rabid animal, that is why it's essential to know how to avoid situations that might put you at risk. One of these risky situations could include your loveable pet. Remember, they are also in danger of developing rabies if they come in contact with an infected animal. Having them vaccinated with anti-rabies shots reduces the chances of infection in your household. If you are an aspiring pet owner, consider adopting a pet from a reputable source. If you're a traveler who will be visiting areas where rabies is common, consider getting an anti-rabies vaccine before your trip.
Safety reminders and treatment
The best way to prevent contracting rabies is to be wary of your surroundings and avoid touching random animals. Here are other additional reminders:
- Domesticated dogs and cats are also prone to this infection, so exercise caution during your first encounter.
- Be extra careful when wandering unknown streets while traveling and keep away from stray animals.
- If you are exposed to the saliva or have been bitten by a suspected rabid animal, immediately wash the area with clean water and soap. Visit your nearest hospital so the doctor can administer a series of rabies vaccines as needed.
According to Mayo Clinic, a fast-acting shot which contains rabies immune globulin should be given as soon as possible to prevent infection.
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