Rabies

Also known as: hydrophobia or fear of water.

What is rabies?

Rabies is a deadly viral infection. People can contract the illness if they are bitten by an animal that is infected with the virus that causes rabies.

What causes rabies?

The virus that causes rabies is known as Rabies virus. Any number of wild or domesticated mammals is capable of carrying rabies and transmitting it to humans with a bite. Wild animals, including raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, bats and other species are the most important potential sources of infection.

What are the symptoms of rabies?

At first, rabies symptoms are similar to the flu, but they can become severe over time. Possible symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, anxiety, trouble swallowing, and excessive saliva, fear of water, hallucinations, insomnia and partial paralysis.

What are rabies care options?

If a person is bitten by an animal and is unsure whether or not the animal had rabies, often a series of shots are administered, including Rabies immune globulin and Rabies vaccine, to prevent a potential rabies infection from affecting the brain.


Reviewed by: Otto M Ramos, MD

This page was last updated on: December 08, 2021 04:04 PM

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