The death of a 10-year-old boy from Mumbai has sparked fears of rabies in the city. The child who died a few days ago had reportedly been scratched or licked by a rabid dog in April 2019 in Malad. By July, his condition worsened and he had started exhibiting signs of rabies. He succumbed to the illness a few days later. According to the child’s parents, the 10-year-old was fond of dogs and would often play with them. He was infected after being licked by one of the dogs who showed no outward signs of rabies. Parents of children who interact with stray animals are particularly worried about the rare case of rabies. The best precaution is to vaccinate the children. The next step is to spot and eliminate animals who are possibly rabid by identifying the signs and symptoms. World Rabies Day 2018: The Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of This Viral Disease.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted from animals (warm-blooded) to humans. It is a fatal disease, with only a few recorded cases of survival. The virus spreads through the bite or lick of an infected animal, and then affects the central nervous system. Although deadly, rabies is completely preventable.
Rabies affects warm-blooded animals like foxes, bats and monkeys. The virus can also be transmitted to domesticated animals like dogs and cats. World Zoonoses Day 2019: How to Prevent Zoonotic Diseases Like Rabies, Nipah Virus Infection and Leptospirosis.
Cold-blooded animals like birds, lizards, snakes, insects and fish are unaffected by this virus. When the animal is infected, it exhibits some tell-tale signs.
Signs of Rabies in Animals
1. Isolating itself or being unnaturally withdrawn
2. Acting unusually “friendly” and is unusually calmer
3. Refusing to eat food or drink water (hydrophobia)
4. Excessive drooling
5. Excessive saliva or frothing
7. Lack of coordination in movement
8. Inability to bark or change in the sound of the bark
9. Getting aggressive
If you see a pet or an animal in your vicinity who may be suffering from rabies, contact your vet or call the local municipal authority. If it is your pet, ensure that your entire family gets vaccinated. Keep the animal quarantined and don’t attempt to handle it yourself.