Also known as hydrophobia, a fatal virus disease resulting from the bite of an infected animal, usually a dog. Headache, fever, and an overwhelming fear, especially of water, are early symptoms following an incubation period of 3–6 weeks; paralysis, spasm of muscles of swallowing, respiratory paralysis, delirium, convulsions, and coma due to an encephalitis follow. Wound cleansing, antirabies vaccine, and hyperimmune serum must be instituted early in confirmed cases to prevent the onset of these symptoms. Fluid replacement and respiratory support may help, but survival is rare if symptoms appear. Infected animals must be destroyed.
Related category HEALTH AND DISEASE
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