Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Rabies Virus - Human Infection

Are you ever feared of a zombie like virus that infects the brain making a person have neurological symptoms similar to insanity?!? I think everyone fears (Or secretly day dreams) of Zombie Apocalypses but what if I told you of a virus that already exists that is very similar to ‘Zombie Symptoms’. A virus that hijacks the brain making a person foam at the mouth and attack themselves as well as others. 

It’s called The Rabies Virus.

The Rabies Virus - Human Infection
Symptoms include:
  • Tingling at the site of the bite wound
  • Flu like symptoms
  • Excessive salivation
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Neurological symptoms
  • Coma
  • Death

The Rabies Virus - Facts

The rabies virus hides away from the immune system inside the nervous system while it makes it’s way up to the brain. Once in the brain it hijacks the controls causing the person to act chaotic, but eventually after a couple days they shut down and die. 

The rabies virus can stay dormant up to six months while it’s in the body. The closer to the brain the bite occurred at the sooner a person will get the virus and die from it.

If you know you were bitten by an animal that may be infected with rabies get vaccinated while in 24 hours of the bite occurring to avoid contracting the disease. If it’s been longer than 24 hours please still go to the hospital and get a vaccination. Better nothing than getting rabies! You can also get the animal tested for rabies (Which you will hear more about below).

People in lines of work that can expose them to Rabies are vaccinated annually to avoid  contracting the disease.

The rabies virus is in abundance in the brain, salivary glands, and larynx. 

The Rabies Virus - My Personal Encounters

After making the video I remembered a time I thought I almost had Rabies! I was fostering a kitten who was found the woods. As I was caring for the kitten it contracted a disease and we weren’t sure what was happening. She was having massive neurological issues and we feared she may have rabies. We made the extremely hard decision to use her down. The next part is a little shocking, but because I was so exposed to her we had to find out if she was infested with the Rabies virus for my safety and for the safety of the other’s who had handled her. After euthanizing her we removed her head and I personally drove it up to Iowa City University to be sent off to a lab to have her brain tested for the Rabies virus. This is something a veterinarian has to complete and I would suggest contacting your veterinarian if you think your pet may have infested you with Rabies.

Luckily she was tested negative. 

Sadly I still am not sure what happened to the sweet little kitten, but our guesses include genetic diseases to distemper.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next time with another video and blog post!
© Faris Jaclyn I Littlest Pet Shop Photography

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