Last Reviewed : 12/25/2020

Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals. Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of exposure. These symptoms are followed by one or more of the following symptoms: violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear, the result is nearly always death. The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months; however, this time period can vary from less than one week to more than one year. The time is dependent on the distance the virus must travel to reach the central nervous system.

Rabies is caused by lyssaviruses including: rabies virus and Australian bat lyssavirus. Rabies is spread when an infected animal scratches or bites another animal or human. Saliva from an infected animal can also transmit rabies if the saliva comes into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose. Globally, dogs are the most common animal involved. More than 99% of rabies cases in countries where dogs commonly have the disease are caused by dog bites. In the Americas, bat bites are the most common source of rabies infections in humans, and less than 5% of cases are from dogs. Rodents are very rarely infected with rabies. The rabies virus travels to the brain by following the peripheral nerves. The disease can only be diagnosed after the start of symptoms.

Animal control and vaccination programs have decreased the risk of rabies from dogs in a number of regions of the world. Immunizing people before they are exposed is recommended for those who are at high risk. The high-risk group includes people who work with bats or who spend prolonged periods in areas of the world where rabies is common. In people who have been exposed to rabies, the rabies vaccine and sometimes rabies immunoglobulin are effective in preventing the disease if the person receives the treatment before the start of rabies symptoms. Washing bites and scratches for 15 minutes with soap and water,povidone iodine, or detergent may reduce the number of viral particles and may be somewhat effective at preventing transmission. Only five people have survived a rabies infection after showing symptoms, and this was with extensive treatment known as the Milwaukee protocol.

Rabies causes about 24,000 to 60,000 deaths worldwide per year. More than 95% of human deaths caused by rabies occur in Africa and Asia. Rabies is present in more than 150 countries and on all continents but Antarctica. More than 3 billion people live in regions of the world where rabies occurs. A number of countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United States, and Western Europe, do not have rabies among dogs. Many small island nations do not have rabies at all.

We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.


Basic information:

http://www.healthline.com/health/rabies health line rabies

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rabies/basics/definition/con-20019900 mayoclinic rabies

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001334.htm medline plus rabies

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rabies/pages/introduction.aspx nhs uk rabies

http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/rabies.html kids health rabies

https://www.healthychildren.org/english/health-issues/conditions/from-insects-animals/pages/rabies.aspx healthy children rabies

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_rabies cleveland clinic rabies


Advanced information:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs099/en/ w0rld health organisation rabies fact sheet updated march 2016

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/181980.php medical news today rabies: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

http://www.medicinenet.com/rabies_virus/article.htm medicine net rabies

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/220967-overview medscape rabies

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/rabies/article_em.htm emedicine health rabies

http://patient.info/health/rabies-immunisation patient rabies immunisation

https://www.britannica.com/science/rabies britannica rabies

http://www.vaccineinformation.org/rabies/ vaccine information you need

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/rabies-beyond-the-basics upto date patient information: rabies (beyond the basics)

http://www.healthcommunities.com/rabies/rabies-overview.shtml health communities rabies



http://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=pmc4189788&blobtype=pdf : wallace rm, gilbert a, slate d, chipman r, singh a, et al. (2014) right place, wrong species: a 20-year review of rabies virus cross species transmission among terrestrial mammals in the united states. plos one 9(10): e107539. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107539

bertozzi m, appignani a. the management of dog bite injuries of genitalia in paediatric age. afr j paediatr surg [serial online] 2013 [cited 2016 aug 19];10:205-10. available from: http://www.afrjpaedsurg.org/text.asp?2013/10/3/205/120875

http://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=pmc4481514&blobtype=pdf : millien mf, pierre-louis jb, wallace r,caldas e, rwangabgoba jm, poncelet jl, et al.(2015) control of dog mediated human rabies in haiti: no time to spare. plos negl trop dis 9(6): e0003806. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003806

http://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=pmc4022521&blobtype=pdf gautret p, blanton j, dacheux l, ribadeau-dumas f, brouqui p, et al. (2014) rabies in nonhuman primates and potential for transmission to humans: a literature review and examination of selected french national data. plos negl trop dis 8(5): e2863. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002863

https://actavetscand.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1751-0147-45-1 arctic rabies – a review by torill mørk et al., acta veterinaria scandinavica200445:1 doi: 10.1186/1751-0147-45-1

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fimmu.2012.00068/full review article front. immunol., 10 april 2012 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2012.00068 louis pasteur, the father of immunology? by kendall a. smith

http://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=pmc4752342&blobtype=pdf devleesschauwer b, aryal a, sharma bk,ale a, declercq a, depraz s, et al. (2016) epidemiology, impact and control of rabies in nepal: a systematic review. plos negl trop dis 10(2): e0004461. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004461

http://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=pmc3413711&blobtype=pdf : kakkar m, venkataramanan v, krishnan s, chauhan rs, abbas ss (2012) moving from rabies research to rabies control: lessons from india. plos negl trop dis 6(8): e1748. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001748

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/pri/2011/374286/ m. s. suja, anita mahadevan, s. n. madhusudana, and s. k. shankar, “role of apoptosis in rabies viral encephalitis: a comparative study in mice, canine, and human brain with a review of literature,” pathology research international, vol. 2011, article id 374286, 13 pages, 2011. doi:10.4061/2011/374286

http://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=pmc2386244&blobtype=pdf : quiambao bp, dytioco hz, dizon rm, crisostomo me, laot tm, et al. (2008) rabies post-exposure prophylaxis in the philippines: health status of patients having received purified equine f(ab’)2 fragment rabies immunoglobulin (favirab). plos negl trop dis 2(5): e243. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000243

https://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1756-3305-5-240 the burden of neglected tropical diseases in ethiopia, and opportunities for integrated control and elimination by kebede deribe et al., parasites & vectors20125:240 doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-5-240

kalita j, bhoi sk, bastia jk, lashkar s, mahadevan a, misra uk. paralytic rabies: mri findings and review of literature. neurol india [serial online] 2014 [cited 2016 aug 19];62:662-4. available from: http://www.neurologyindia.com/text.asp?2014/62/6/662/149394

http://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=pmc2742899&blobtype=pdf ertl hcj (2009) novel vaccines to human rabies. plos negl trop dis 3(9): e515. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000515

http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/1/60.full management of rabies in humans by alan c. jackson et al., clin infect dis. (2003) 36 (1): 60-63.doi: 10.1086/344905

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa043018#t=article transmission of rabies virus from an organ donor to four transplant recipients by arjun srinivasan, m.d., n engl j med 2005; 352:1103-1111march 17, 2005doi: 10.1056/nejmoa043018


Other articles:

http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/neurological/c_multi_rabies pet md rabies in dogs

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2102&aid=347 pet education rabies in dogs: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & vaccination

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/health_information/rabies.cfm cornell university college of veterinary medicine rabies

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/rabies-dogs web md rabies in dogs

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/rabies-vaccination-13-ways-to-vaccinate-more-safely/ dogs naturally magazine rabies vaccination: 13 ways to vaccinate more safely

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/nervous_system/rabies/overview_of_rabies.html the merck veterinary manual overview of rabies


Other helpful resources(support groups):

https://rabiesalliance.org/ global alliance for rabies control

http://www.missionrabies.com/ mission rabies

http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/adoption-pet-care/safety/rabies-facts-prevention.html?referrer=https://www.google.co.in/ american humane association

http://www.eliminaterabies.wsu.edu/ eliminate rabies



Related videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mog6jdmjdc [rare] rabies in a human

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otiytbljzqc hydrophobia in rabies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzxs6mhgzhk rabies - plain and simple

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9iktwnreum the rabies virus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vypi28yrhlu rabies: simple steps save lives (english version, uncaptioned)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bveldhb-ztm rabies


Presentations/quiz/newspaper articles:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/jeanna-giese-rabies-survivor/ scientific american medical mystery: only one person has survived rabies without vaccine--but how?

http://www.medicaldaily.com/rare-case-rabies-infection-newborn-383619 medical daily baby born to mother with fatal rabies survives without infection

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150915-indias-rabid-dog-problem-is-running-the-country-ragged bbc indias rabid dog problem is running the country ragged

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/bodyhorrors/2015/12/28/canine-rabies-imported-america/#.v7c52tkufp0 discover canine rabies imported into america

http://www.wired.com/2012/07/ff_rabies/ wired undead: the rabies virus remains a medical mystery

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-148224/britons-rabies-nightmare-linked-bat-bite.html daily mail briton's rabies nightmare linked to bat bite

http://time.com/3925192/rabies-vaccine-history/ time this is what happened to the first person to get the rabies vaccine

http://www.wect.com/story/32795975/cary-confirms-rabies-case-after-fox-attacks-jogger-dogs wect cary confirms rabies case after fox attacks jogger, dogs


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