Rabies: Closer Than You Think

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Rabies: Closer Than You Think Rabies, a virus of the nervous system and salivary glands is a fast moving killer; it’s not something to mess around with. Rabies comes from the Latin word “to rage”. Rabies is easily associated with rage. When people think of rabies, they usually think of a mad raccoon or dog, foaming at the mouth and running around crazy; dying soon after. The thought of going crazy is a pretty reasonable guess for how rabies torments its victims. The virus enters through a bite or transfer of infected saliva and makes its way through the nerves toward your spinal cord and brain. Obviously, rabies is an extremely deadly virus that affects the nervous system. Immediately after being bitten, you need to seek medical attention or death will come within a week. Rabies is a very fatal virus that, without proper medical attention, will kill its victims very swiftly, but there are ways to help. There is a vaccine for people who are likely to get rabies, and there is a vaccine that, if used immediately after the exposure to the rabid animal, can save the victim of rabies. These vaccines have saved the lives of many. Medical technology at its finest is what saves victims of these horrible diseases, but if you are too late and do not receive the proper treatment in time, well, death is a lot closer than you think. Rabies is a disease that requires fast treatment. Go too slow and all you can do is wait until death comes; painfully and tormenting you until you draw your last breath. Most often the cause of contamination is through the bite of a rabid animal. The virus then spreads through the nerves until it reaches the central nervous system (CNS) which is the spinal cord and the brain. Then the virus incubates in the infected creature’s body for approximately 3-12 weeks. The victim shows no signs of illness during this “incubation period”. When the virus reaches the brain, it multiplies rapidly, passes to the salivary glands, and the infected creature begins to show signs of disease. The infected creature usually dies within 1 week of becoming sick. Within four or five days, the victim my then either slip into a months long coma ending in death or die suddenly of cardiac arrest. Rabies is extremely dangerous. It’s important to treat the wound when you have been bitten, but the disease isn’t always transmitted through a bite.
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