Rabies is an extremely serious viral infection that targets the bodies nervous system and targets the brain, for those who contract the Rabies virus who are unvaccinated the results can be fatal without prompt and immediate medical treatment. In the UK Rabies is considered an extremely low risk as it the virus is not carried in the animal population (excluding bats.)
Rabies – “Rhabdovirus” is an Encephalitis viral infection that is typically fatal once the symptoms set in. Although in the UK outbreaks are extremely uncommon especially due to their being an effective vaccination widely available it is still a virus carried by bats. The rabies virus sets upon the central nervous system and then the brain, the initial symptoms appear like many others starting with high fevers, headaches, nausea, loss of appetite and general weakness. As the disease progresses more characteristic symptoms set in such as:
Anxiety, Agitation & Excitation.
Insomnia, Chronic Fatigue & Discomfort.
Difficulty Swallowing, Confusion & Hallucinations
Hyper salivation (Over-active Saliva Glands), Hydrophobia(Fear of Water).
Vaccinated or not it is well advised if you or your child has been bitten, licked or scratched by a suspected rabid animal to receive immediate counter medical measures to reduce the risk of infection. If you or your child have been bitten, licked or scared you should always:
Thoroughly wash out the wound with soap or a friendly anti-septic if available for 15 minutes
Leave the wound open providing it is clean and safe to do so.
Seek immediate medical attention.
Most mammals can carry the virus from monkeys, camels and sheep. The animals that are most known to carry the Rabies virus you should pay particular mind to when abroad are:
And others so be careful interacting with animals abroad even ones in petting zoos and farms.
In addition to being cautious and vigilant around animals domestic and abroad the safest way to protect you against the Rabies virus is to get vaccinated. There are multiple options regarding your vaccination and it is best to consult a specialist to find the best option for you. It is one of the more expensive but more important vaccinations to get. A Routine Rabies vaccination is only really administered to those that are at more of a risk such as that work around or are travelling to areas with infected animals.
The two most common vaccinations available here in the UK both typically require a course of three injections, the second jab is administer seven days after the first and the third usually between twenty one to twenty eight days after the second. As you can tell by the time frames needed for the vaccination to become effective it is advised that you plan in advance.
RabiesAcross The World
The Rabies virus can be found all over the world although is less common in the western world and due to vaccination has become a minor issue however many cases where there is infection ends in fatal results. It is wise to speak with a specialise before you travel to assess the risk.
Canada, Greenland, and United Stated Of America
Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Khemet (Modern day Egypt), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland , Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Vatican City
Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, North Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen
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When traveling to countries that pose a higher risk than others it is recommended that you avoid contact with animals and make your children aware of the risks and dangers. Always examine yourself and your child for cuts and scratches after any contact and ask them how they got them.
Ultimately maintain caution and hygiene is important to avoid infection second to getting vaccinated.
Rabies treatment is called post-exposure treatment and aims to stop the virus spreading are developing the more severe symptoms, the wound is flushed out and cleaned and treaded with anti-septic. Sometimes you may be given a Rabies immunoglobulin and a shot of the vaccine to help the body while it’s developing antibodies.
For more information about the Rabies Virus you can check the following trusted resources:
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