The Rabies Virus and Treatment

Good Essays
Rabies Virus and Treatment

Rabies is a virus that is characterized under the family name Rhabdoviridae and genus name Lyssavirus which travels to either the brain or the spinal cord, where it attacks a victim's nervous system until death occurs as discovered by Pasteur. It is rabies unique bullet-shaped body and tubular extensions, along with its specialized proteins that contribute to its deadliness.

Aside from one case of rabies that occurred in 2004 in Wisconsin, rabies has proven fatal; there is no real treatment besides prevention. Vaccinations and precaution serve to be most effective pre-exposure, while post-exposure treatment can be a combination of respiratory and cardiac support, and intensive care.

As part of the Rhabdovirus, Rabies is similar to 75 other viruses, but only closely related to 5, which are believed to have originated in Africa. Each year, around 7,000 cases of rabies are recorded according to an article for parents on Kids health website, but because of vaccinations, only one or two die. All, including Rabies virus, have a bullet shaped body accompanied by “bizarre elongated filaments V or Y shaped”(Kaplan, et al. 2). Once the rabid viruses infect the blood stream, they begin their migration to the brain where the virus begins to multiply effectively and abundantly in cerebral matter, producing defective interfering particles, as described in the book Rabies by Kaplan, Turner, and Warrell.

Like many other viruses, rabies has an excellent way of transmitting itself, allowing it to be efficient-saliva. While it is true that simple UV rays found in the sun can kill the virus in a dead body laying around, as well as acidity and soaps, because organic matter like soaps are able to dissolve the virus’ out...

... middle of paper ...

...y day, doctors look for new and more effective methods of treatment, looking for solutions in vaccinations and in the infamous G protein, but again, prevention is key.

Works Cited

Center for Disease Control. (2003). Rabies: The Virus. Retrieved July 19, 2006, from

Center for Disease Control. (2004). Rabies Prevention and Control: General Questions. Retrieved July18, 2006, from

Faqs. (2005). Rabies. Retrieved July 19, 2006, from

Kids Health. (1995-2006). Infection: Rabies. Retrieved July 24, 2006, from

Kaplan, Colin, et al. Rabies. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986

Rabies. San Diego: Academic Press, 2002
Get Access