Rabies is a serious and potentially deadly disease that could be suffered by those bitten by dogs or other animals. Dogs can be carriers, which is why it’s important to get the vaccination records of the dog or to be able to bring in and identify the dog that bit you.
One to three people die from rabies each year in the United States, but even though that number is low, it’s important to know that many more have been exposed to the disease and treated to prevent death. Across the world, over 15 million people receive post-exposure vaccinations for the rabies disease.
Rabies itself is a viral disease that passes through saliva into the blood stream, muscles, and subcutaneous tissues. Biting is the most common way to transmit the disease, but saliva reaching an open wound can transmit it as well. The virus then attacks the peripheral nerves, the brain, and the rest of the body.
Symptoms of rabies include weakness, fever, and headaches, and they usually occur within a week or so from the time of exposure. There are actually two forms of the disease, paralytic and furious. Paralytic spreads through the body and paralyzes the victim until coma and eventual death. Furious causes anxiety, hydrophobia, salivating, and encephalitis. By the time these symptoms are present, the virus is usually fatal.
In cases where you’re not sure about the animal’s history, your own wounds, or the potential for infection, a series of injections is started immediately. Our website has more on dog attacks and what you can do to make sure you’re compensated for the pain and suffering you’ve been put through.