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10-08-2014, 01:09 PM
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Quote:Rabies (/ˈreɪbiːz/; from Latin: rabies, "madness") is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other warm-blooded animals.[1] The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months; however it can vary from less than one week to more than one year.[1] The time is dependent on the distance the virus must travel to reach the central nervous system.[2] Early symptoms may include fever and tingling at the site of exposure.[1] This is then followed by either violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, and fear of water or an inability to move parts of the body and confusion followed by loss of consciousness.[1] In both cases once symptoms appear it nearly always results in death.[1]

The disease is spread to humans from another animal, commonly by a bite or scratch.[1] Infected saliva that comes into contact with any mucous membrane is also a risk.[1] Globally most cases are the result of a dog bite,[1] with this being the cause in more than 90% of cases in countries where dogs commonly have rabies.[3] In the Americas, less than 5% of cases are from dogs, with bats being the most common cause.[1][3] Rodents are very rarely infected.[3] The rabies virus travels to the brain by following the peripheral nerves. The disease can also be diagnosed after the start of symptoms.[1]

Animal control and vaccination programs have decreased the risk of rabies from dogs in a number of regions of the world.[1] Immunizing people before they are exposed is recommended in those who are at high risk including those who work with bats or spend prolonged periods in areas of the world where the disease is common.[1] In those who have been exposed to rabies, rabies vaccine and sometimes rabies immunoglobulin are effective in preventing disease if given before the start of symptoms.[1] Washing bites and scratches for 15 minutes with soap and water also appears to be somewhat effective.[1] Only a few people have survived a rabies infection and this was with extensive treatment.[4]

Rabies causes about 26,000 to 55,000 deaths worldwide per year,[1][5] more than 95% of which occur in Asia and Africa.[1] It is present in more than 150 countries and more than 3 billion people live in regions of the world where it occurs.[1] In most of Europe and Australia rabies is only present in bats.[6] Many small island nations are entirely rabies free.[7]
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