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The Infection of Rabies

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Rabies: The Infection

Rabies is an infectious disease that is hard to survive through. Although rabies is mostly found in animals, humans can also carry the virus and spread it amongst others. This virus is well known as the slow virus because it will slowly kill you. There are many symptoms of rabies, in both animals and humans, that reveal themselves only after they have been bitten. This part of the essay will give you the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the rabies infection.

The infectious disease known as rabies is a virus that spreads from the wound to the central nervous system, causing the body to malfunction until finally crashing down. This virus is a transmittable disease that that runs in both humans and animals. In order for the virus to be transmitted, the saliva from the rabid animal needs to enter the open wound. There are many symptoms that prove that the bitten victim has rabies, one of them being death. This virus is really tricky because not only will you get the virus but you won’t really know if you have rabies until the symptoms reveal themselves.

At the time of the bite, saliva may enter the wound. The only way for the virus to be transmitted is if the saliva is in or close to the nerve tissue. From the nerve tissue, it travels until reaching the central nervous which then spreads to the spinal cord and brain. The virus incubates in the victim for approximately 1 to 3 months. The victim has no symptoms at this time. When it reaches the brain, the virus multiplies rapidly, passes to the salivary glands, and the victim begins to show symptoms. The infected victim usually dies within 7 days of being sick (“Transmission” 2).

We all hear stories about a rabid dog biting a human but we have to consider that not all rabies infections are transmitted by bites; the virus can also be transmitted by non-bites. The non-bites can be scratches, abrasions, open wounds, or mucus membranes contaminated with saliva or other potentially, infections material such as brain tissue from the rabid animal (Coye10). Mammals are the only species that can transmit rabies to one another. Although humans are mammals, they can’t transmit the disease the same way that animals transmit it. One way, which is the only recorded evidence where a human transmitted the virus to other humans, is by organ transplant (“Investigation” 2).
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