This is not on Turkey’s agenda: what is rabies, is there a cure?
In recent weeks, two children in Bitlis Adiltsevaz have been attacked by stray dogs, and one child has a case of rabies. After this incident, it turned out that another 36 people living in the same area with children were attacked by dogs. However, after the rabies case became public, a lot of false information about the disease began to circulate on social networks. So what is the rabies virus, what are the symptoms of rabies? Let’s look at the details together.
Rabies, which affects the central nervous system and affects the brain and spinal cord, is one of the deadliest diseases in history, with a mortality rate of 99%.
Rabies is caused by a group of RNA viruses from the lyssavirus family. Scientists believe that lyssaviruses evolved over millions of years from bats.
The disease is transmitted through saliva, most often through the bite of an infected animal. Because this virus needs open wounds to settle in the cells of living beings.
The rabies virus can be found in almost every part of the world except Antarctica. Variants of lyssaviruses are found in various animal species throughout the world. All of these variants can cause fatal disease in humans. Rabies is one of the most common lyssavirus infections.
95 percent of rabies deaths occur in Africa and Asia, where people do not have access to medical facilities and vaccines.
An estimated 59,000 people die of rabies every year. However, the real figure is believed to be much higher. Animals such as snakes and lizards do not carry this virus. But any mammal can carry this virus. Rabies is often transmitted from dogs to humans. However, bats, raccoons, foxes, cats and skunks are also at risk of transmitting the virus.
Although rabies vaccines are lifesaving if treated early, there is no cure for the disease. In other words, having a vaccine does not mean that a disease can be cured.
For this reason, after a bite or scratch from an animal, you must immediately go to the hospital and get vaccinated. Thanks to the antibodies in vaccines, the virus is neutralized before it reaches the brain. The symptoms of rabies begin after the virus infects the brain. Therefore, early intervention is extremely important.
According to experts, it is impossible to get rid of the disease after the onset of symptoms of rabies.
Contrary to popular belief, people who have been bitten by vaccinated animals should also seek immediate medical attention. The main route of transmission of the disease is saliva. Rabies is not transmitted in the feces, urine, or blood of an infected animal.
The virus can also be transmitted when the saliva of an infected animal comes into contact with existing wounds. On the other hand, since animals lick their paws, the disease can also be transmitted through scratching. Although there is no confirmed case yet, the disease can also be transmitted from person to person. For this reason, people who have been bitten or scratched by an infected person are advised to go to the hospital.
rabies disease; It has 4 stages: incubation, prodromal, acute neurological and coma.
The period when symptoms do not yet appear is called the incubation period. This period, which usually lasts 2-3 months, depends on the viral load and the area of the wound. For example, if the wound is close to an area of the brain, the duration of symptoms may be reduced. For this reason, the incubation period can vary from 1 week to a year.
The prodromal period marks the onset of the disease. Headache, discomfort in the area of the bite, nausea, sore throat, and coughing may be noticed at this stage.
In the acute neurological period; Men may experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, foaming at the mouth, confusion, aggression, seizures, fear of water, neck stiffness, hallucinations, sensitivity to light, and persistent erections.
At the final stage of the disease, infected individuals fall into a coma. On average, he dies within 3 days. For this reason, it is very important to get vaccinated immediately after a bite or scratch.
Infected people are unable to swallow due to the partial paralysis caused by the virus. This causes fear of water in patients.
Because when the patient tries to swallow, he has quite strong spasms in the throat. So much so that even the thought of drinking water brings to mind these contractions, so that a person begins to be afraid of water. These spasms are the main cause of the accumulation of saliva in the mouth in all living things infected with the virus.
In summary, there is no cure for rabies. For this reason, it is necessary to get vaccinated as soon as possible in order to neutralize the virus after a bite.
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