Rabies

Description of virus that causes the disease.

Electron micrograph of rabies virus in brain cells at 64,000 x magnification. The bullets surrounding the smooth gray circle are rabies.
Electron micrograph of rabies virus in brain cells at 64,000 x magnification. The bullets surrounding the smooth gray circle are rabies.
Electron micrograph of rabies virus in brain cells at 64,000 x magnification.
The bullets surrounding the smooth gray circle are rabies.

Viral Specificity:

(Part of the body/ type of tissue type/ other hosts affected.
Explain HOW the part of body/tissue is affected.)
-Virus travels to the brain by following the peripheral nerves.
-Incubation period is a few months for humans depending on how far the virus has to travel to get to the central nervous system.
-Once rabies virus reachs the central nervous system the symptoms begin to show.
-After the infection travels to the nervous system its effectively untreatable and is usually fatal within days.


Symptoms and progression of the disease:

(Be as detailed as possible here. Include major complications. Provide pictures or graphics)
-Early stage symptoms
  • Malaise- a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness,often the first indication of an infection or other disease.
  • headache and fever
-Progresses to acute pain
  • Violent movements
  • uncontrolled excitement
  • depression
  • hydrophobia- an abnormal and persistent fear of water.
-Eventually leading to coma

Human symptoms
-Flu like symptoms lasting from two to twelve weeks but can be as long as two years.
-symptoms expand to partial or slight paralysis.
  • cerebral dysfunction- brain is not functioning properly.
  • anxiety- distress or uneasiness or mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune
  • insomnia- inability to obtain sufficient sleep.
  • confusion
  • agitation- to move or force into violent or irregular action.
  • abnormal behavior
  • paranoia- mental disorder
  • terror
  • hallucinations
  • delirium- temporary disorder of the mental faculties.
-production of large quantities of saliva and tears
-inability to speak or swallow
-can result in hydrophobia
-severe brain damage

Common Methods of Transmission:

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Rabies can be transmitted through
  • Animal Bites
  • Contact with the saliva or brain tissue of an infected animal

Treatment and Prevention (if any):

and how the diseases may be prevented. Briefly describe the treatment.)
A series of vaccinations after exposure can prevent the disease. Once symptoms appear, there is no treatment.
A vaccine for Rabies does exist,both of them are made from inactivated, or killed, virus. Both types are considered equally safe and effective.
The vaccine is given in the deltoid muscle as a series of 3–5 shots.
Miscellaneous:
( Historical background if pertinent. Any unusual or interesting info? )
- The term is derived from the latin 'rabies' which means madness.
-Because of its potentially violent nature,rabies has been known since 2000 B.C
-The first written record of rabies is in the Codex of Eshnunna(1930 BC), which dictates that the owner of a dog showing symptoms of rabies should take preventive measure against bites.
-if another person was bitten by a dog with rabies and died from it ,the owner was fined.

Resources accessed:

Internet
Books