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Rabies causes acute encephalitis in animals and people (rabies means "rage" in latin). In unvaccinated humans, rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms have expressed completely. However, post-exposure vaccination can prevent symptoms from developing.

rabies symptoms

When one thinks of the symptoms of rabies, a stereotypical image of an infected ("rabid") animal is a "mad dog" foaming at the mouth, but most mammals can become rabid, including cats, rabits, raccoons, skunks, foxes and wolves. Rabies may also present in a so-called 'paralytic' form, rendering the infected animal unnaturally quiet and withdrawn.

After a typical human infection by animal bite, the virus enters the nervous system. It then travels along the nerves towards the central nervous system. During this phase, there are no readily apparent rabies symtpoms.

The period between infection and the first flu-like symptoms is normally three to twelve weeks, but can be as long as two years. Soon after, the symptoms expand to cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, agitation, abnormal behaviour, hallucinations, and progressing to delirium.

The production of large quantities of saliva and tears coupled with an inability to speak or swallow are typical during the later stages of the disease; this is known as "hydrophobia".

Death almost invariably results 2-10 days after the first symptoms; the handful of people who are known to have survived the disease were all left with severe brain damage.

Disclaimer: Information shared in this section is indicative. Please do not make any conclusion and we strongly recommend you to consult with your Doctor. Symptoms may vary with individual, geography, climate and lifestyle