Pet owners continuously make great strides in preventing our household pets from contracting rabies. Still, getting bit by a ravenous animal and slowly dying of the brain-altering disease is the fate of 55,000 people per year. Though the disease is 100% treatable through vaccines, rabies is still a prominent killer in the world, especially in poorer areas.
It”s unlikely that the people reading this article will start frothing at the mouth. However, to make everyone feel better about touching the neighbor”s dog, here is everything you should know about rabies.
Rabies is a virus endemic to every continent except Antarctica. It is transmitted from animals to humans and affects our central nervous system.
The word for animal-spread diseases is “zoonotic”. It sounds like it should mean “robot-animals,” but I digress.
Symptoms of rabies will at first feel like the flu. This includes fever, headaches, and achiness. The wound from the animal that bit you will burn a little, but it won”t feel unnatural.
Seems pretty normal…
Anywhere between a week or even a year later, those symptoms will progress at a debilitating rate. The rabies will start eating at your brain, causing anxiety and confusion. Soon, you will experience abnormal behavior and hallucinations.
That”s a pretty sudden change.
There are two types of rabies. The first and most common type, furious rabies, causes humans to become excitable. Strangely enough, it also causes a strong fear of water and flying. Victims of this form will most likely die of cardiac arrest.
Essentially, you act like a cat.
The second type, paralytic rabies, causes slow paralysis until the victim”s death.
Which is your favorite way to die from rabies? Neither? Yeah, me too.
Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals. It is most commonly spread through bats.
Sorry guys, I know how much you love bats.
Rabies is treatable by vaccine, for both you and the infected animal that bit you (should you know this animal and want to save its life). The catch is to seek treatment as soon as the symptoms start exhibiting themselves. You should also wash the animal bite with soap and water.
If you got bit by an unfamiliar animal today, maybe get the vaccine just in case.
Rabies is becoming increasingly rare in America, with only about 5 Americans contracting the disease every year. Still, it”s important we remember to get our pets vaccinated every three years or so. Also, don”t hang out with any bats. Those guys carry all sorts of nastiness.