What is Rabies?
Rabies is a very serious viral infection that targets the brain and nervous system.
Rabies can be spread to humans from infected animals through a bite, scratch or lick to broken skin, the mouth or the eye. You may also be at risk if an animal spits in your face.
For this reason, anyone who may have a risk of contracting rabies should receive rabies vaccines for protection.
What are the symptoms?
It can take a while for symptoms to develop, but when they do the condition is almost always fatal.
Symptoms in humans can include:
- Fever (a high temperature).
- Hydrophobia (an irrational fear of water).
- Confusion or aggressive behavior.
- Nausea, Vomiting.
- Agitation, Anxiety.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Excessive salivation.
Diagnosed and Treatments
At the time a rabid animal bites you, there's no way to know whether the animal has transmitted the rabies virus to you. For this reason, treatment to prevent the rabies virus from infecting your body is recommended if the doctor thinks there's a chance you have been exposed to the virus.There's no specific treatment for rabies infection.
Treatment for people bitten by animals with rabies If the animal that bit you can't be found, it may be safest to assume that the animal has rabies. But this will depend on several factors, such as the type of animal and the situation in which the bite occurred. Rabies shots include:
- A fast-acting shot (rabies immune globulin) to prevent the virus from infecting you. Part of this injection is given near the area where the animal bit you if possible, as soon as possible after the bite.
- A series of rabies vaccines to help your body learn to identify and fight the rabies virus. Rabies vaccines are given as injections in your arm. You receive four injections over 14 days.
Determining whether the animal that bit you has Rabies
Procedures for determining whether an animal has rabies vary by situation. For instance:
Pets and farm animals. Observe animals for 10 days to see if they show signs and symptoms of rabies. If the animal that bit you remains healthy during the observation period, then it doesn't have rabies and you won't need rabies shots. Talk to your doctor and local public health officials to determine whether you should receive rabies shots.
Wild animals that can be caught. Wild animals can be killed and tested for rabies. Tests on the animal's brain may reveal the rabies virus. If the animal doesn't have rabies, you won't need the shots.
What can be done to prevent Rabies?
You can reduce your risk of coming in contact with rabid animals. Here's how:
- Vaccinate your pets.
- Protect small pets from predators.
- Don't approach wild animals.
- Keep bats out of your home.
- Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease which occurs in more than 150 countries and territories.
- Dogs are the source of the vast majority of human rabies deaths, contributing up to 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans.
- Rabies elimination is feasible by vaccinating dogs.
- Infection causes tens of thousands of deaths every year, mostly in Asia and Africa.
- 40% of people who are bitten by suspect rabid animals are children under 15 years of age.
- Immediate wound cleansing with soap and water after contact with a suspect rabid animal can be life-saving.
Does my Insurance Policy cover Rabies?
yes. according to CCHI unified Policy terms and conditions, health insurance policies in Saudi Arabia cover rabies vaccination only as treatment not for prevention.Please Click Here to access the Vaccination Schedule issues by the Ministry Of Health.
References:"Rabies." MEDIA CENTER Fact Sheet. N.p., Mar. 2016. Web. Aug. 2016.
"Rabies." Rules. N.p., n.d. Web. Aug. 2016.