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prevention of diseasespreventive medicineSigns and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Rabies, a deadly viral disease.

Signs ans symptoms of rabiesRabies is a deadly disease. Once a patient gets Rabies, his cure become nearly impossible. So precautionary measures should be adopted to prevent Rabies. So you should know the names all those animals that can transmit rabies and whenever you receive a bite from any of those animals then you should rush for immediate prophylaxis that is provided in the form of vaccination. There are only few patients known, who survived rabies.

When signs and symptoms of Rabies appear, then Milwaukee protocol is the only hope of survival remains. Let’s now explain the signs and symptoms of rabies.

The signs and symptoms of rabies appear within two weeks after bite. But appearance of signs and symptoms greatly depend upon the location of bite. For example, bite on leg will produce symptoms latter as compared to bite that has occurred in face or head and it also depends on the number of viruses that have introduced into the wound and categories of wound. Therefore, sometimes the signs symptoms don’t appear even after six months. But if someone has history of bite and develop following signs, then rabies must be suspected.

Signs and symptoms of classical rabies

Classical rabies affect two-third of the rabid patients. Classical rabies present with fever, head ache and mental deterioration but it alternates with a period of normal mentation. In other viral encephalitis, the altered mentation doesn’t alternate with normal mentation. So this is one of the ways to differentiate between other viral encephalitis and rabies encephalitis. After sometime, muscles of swallowing and breathing get involved and it makes the swallowing difficult, patient can’t even swallow water and starts to fear even when he sees a glass of water, this is called hydrophobia. With passage of time, more and more nervous dysfunction occurs, more muscles affect. Even a little blow on the face can start facial spasm and patient starts to fear breeze and this symptom is called aerophobia. With passage of time, autonomic nervous system which is automatic and can’t be controlled by will start to affect and it causes, profuse sweating, salivation, tachycardia and hypertension. within 7 days, the breathing and swallowing become very difficult and most of the muscle groups become affected and patient undergo repeated muscle spasm and we all look at the patient helplessly. Patient passes away slowly and painfully.

Signs of symptoms of paralytic rabies

About 30% of rabies patients present with paralytic rabies. In this condition the paralysis starts from the feet and gradually moves toward the face. It progressively involve the muscles of feet, leg, thigh, buttock, abdomen, respiratory, swallowing and face. This presentation is similar to the presentation of Guillain Barre Syndrome, the only differentiating point comes from the history. In Rabies there is history of animal bite while in GBS there’s no history of bite. This condition is also deadly.



Guidelines of Rabies Prevention in Pakistan, by Dr. Naseem Salahuddin, Rabies in Asia Foundation, Infectious Diseases Society of Pakistan

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