Rabies is a preventable virus, mainly transmitted through the bite of an unprovoked attack by a rabid animal. The rabies virus infects the CNS, causing encephalopathy and ultimately death within days of the first onset of symptoms. (CDC)

Rabies is a recognised disease worldwide, estimated to have been the cause of over 55,000 deaths per year, 56% of which occur in Asian and 44% in Africa, however some countries such as Japan, Norway, Iceland, Eire, Portugal and Sweden remain free of infection. The UK is mainly under threat of imported dogs from Asia, African and Latin America. (Lane & Cooper)

Any mammal is capable of contracting rabies and it is a zoonosis. (Lane & Cooper)

There are two forms of clinical rabies – furious rabies and dumb rabies. Furious rabies makes the infected animal progressively hyperexcitable lasting a few minutes to several hours. During this time, the animal may become more aggressive than normal, snapping at imaginary objects, chewing at anything in sight while in between these episodes, the animal will appear friendly, placid and calm. As the disease progresses there is difficulty in swallowing and distortion of the face and eventually the animal will die during a violent seizure. (Lane & Cooper)

Dumb rabies shows less of the aggressive signs of furious rabies, however there is still paralysis of the limbs, face distortion where the jaws and eyelids droop and the animal drools (see picture overleaf). The animal will then become comatose and die. (Lane & Cooper)


Read the rest of this paper here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *