Rabies is one of the most dangerous, contagious diseases, which can affect humans and provoke death of patients. In actuality, the disease is well-studied but still there are no effective treatments for people with symptoms of rabies. Nevertheless, the disease can be prevented through the limitation of the access of humans to animals, who may bear the virus of rabies as well as through the vaccination of animals to prevent the spread of the diseases on humans. In this respect, people should be very careful about risks of contamination with rabies and the effects of the disease. They should be aware and responsible not only in regard to their own health but also in regard to the health of their pets, who could potentially cause rabies in humans. In such a situation, the understanding of the essence of the disease is crucial along with understanding and implication of basic preventive measures to avoid contamination with rabies.
First of all, it is worth mentioning the fact that rabies is a disease caused by a virus that enters the body through the bite from infected animals and causes brain swelling and, if not quickly treated, results in convulsions, respiratory failure, and death in almost every person infected (Dacheux, Reynes, Buchy, 2008). The first signs of the disease can appear shortly after the contamination, within three – seven weeks after contamination. In some cases, the first manifestation of the disease can appear on the 10th day after contamination, whereas in some patients the incubation period lasts up to ten years (Manning, Rupprecht, Fishbein, et al., 2008). Therefore, patients should be very careful, if they have suffered biting by an animal, including pets.
At this point, it is important to dwell upon symptoms of the disease. In fact, the major symptoms of the disease are as following: anxiety, stress, and tension; convulsions and respiratory difficulties, drooling, exaggerated sensation at the bite site, excitability, loss of muscle function, loss of feeling in the area of the body, low-grade fever, numbness and tingling, muscle spasms, pain at the site of the bite, restlessness, and swallowing difficulty. However, it is important to prevent the development of the first symptoms and the early diagnosing of rabies can save the life of patients. Therefore, after a bit by an animal, patients should receive the medical aid as soon as possible.
Therefore, health care professionals should identify the first signs of the disease with the help of tests. If an animal bites a patient, the patient should try to gather as much information about the animal as possible. The patient should call local animal control authorities to safely capture the animal. If rabies is suspected, the animal will be watched for signs of rabies (Finke & Conzelmann, 2005). Furthermore, a special test called immunofluorescence is used to look at the brain tissue after an animal is dead. This test can reveal whether or not the animal had rabies (Lockhart, Tordo, Tsiang, 1992). The same test can be used to check for rabies in humans, using a piece of skin from the neck. Doctors may also look for the rabies virus in your saliva or spinal fluid, although these tests are not as sensitive and may need to be repeated (Taylor, 1993). On conducting the aforementioned tests, health care professionals can diagnose rabies and start preventing treatment of the patient.
In fact, the early treatment of rabies is crucial for the survival of the patient. First of all, it is necessary to clean the wound well with soap and water, and seek professional medical help. The next step is the assistance of a doctor, who should thoroughly clean the wound and remove any foreign objects. Most of the time, stitches should not be used for animal bite wounds (Finke & Conzelmann, 2005). If there is any risk of rabies, the patient is given a series of a preventive vaccine. This is generally given in 5 doses over 28 days (Bassin, Rupprecht, Bleck, 2009). Most patients also receive a treatment called human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG). This is given the day the bite occurred (Bassin, Rupprecht, Bleck, 2009). However, there is no known effective treatment for people with symptoms of a rabies infection (Finke & Conzelmann, 2005).
In such a situation, specialists argue that it is extremely important to prevent rabies. In this regard, specialists recommend avoiding contact with animals, which people do not know (Bassin, Rupprecht, Bleck, 2009). Next, patients should get vaccinated if they work in a high-risk occupation or travel to countries with a high rate of rabies (Bassin, Rupprecht, Bleck, 2009). Individuals should make sure their pets receive the proper immunizations. Dogs and cats should get rabies vaccines by 4 months of age, followed by a booster shot 1 year later, and another one every 1 or 3 years, depending on the type of vaccine used (Minagar & Alexander, 2005). Finally, it is necessary to follow quarantine regulations on importing dogs and other mammals in disease-free countries (Taylor, 1993).
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that rabies is a dangerous disease, which is transmitted to humans from animals. The development of the disease leads to the death of patients. This is why the early treatment and prevention of the disease is crucial for the survival of patients. In this regard, patients need to be very careful with animals, whom they do not know and who can bear the virus of rabies. If they failed to prevent a bit of an animal, they should receive the medical aid immediately.
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