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Rabies

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a disease caused by a virus found in the saliva of infected animals and is transmitted to pets and humans by bites, or possibly by contamination of an open cut.

The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, causing encephalopathy and ultimately death. Death usually occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.

Many different animals can be infected by the virus that causes rabies and can transmit rabies to humans.

Rabies is also called hydrophobia.

What Causes Rabies?

Rabies is caused by a virus.

Symptoms of Rabies

The most common initial symptoms in humans are:

  • fever
  • headache
  • general malaise

As rabies progresses, other symptoms include:

  • insomnia
  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • slight or partial paralysis
  • excitation
  • hallucinations
  • agitation
  • hypersalivation
  • difficulty swallowing
  • fear of water

How is Rabies Transmitted?

Rabies is most often transmitted to humans through the bite of a rabid animal. The bite is usually from wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.

Can Rabies be Treated?

Yes. If you believe you have rabies, it is important to seek treatment immediately. If left untreated, rabies causes a painful death within days of the first symptoms.

Reduce your risk of contracting rabies.

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