World Rabies Day is celebrated every year on September 28 and the purpose of this day is to raise awareness about Rabies prevention. According to the World Health Organization, rabies kills 55,000 people worldwide every year. Of these, 40 percent are children. Rabies is caused by bites of animals like dogs, cats, monkeys, bats, cows, buffaloes, rats, foxes, and wolves. Most rabies cases in India come from dog or cat bites. Since it is a neuro-invasive viral disease, the affected person's life is jeopardised and they may need immediate medical attention.

Rabies Symptoms

  • In the first day or two, the patient starts experiencing fever, loss of appetite, weakness, irritability, etc.
  • Wounds caused by animal bites cause severe pain, burning and itching.
  • Neurological symptoms begin 2-3 days later. These include mental disturbances, anxiety, hallucinations, insomnia, aggressive behavior, trouble breathing, fear of water or hydrophobia, excessive saliva, fear of loud sounds, and strong light.
  • More saliva also starts coming out of the mouth of such a person. Apart from this, there may also be problems like partial paralysis, fainting, affecting the functioning of the heart and the patient can also go into a coma. The patient dies in 6-10 days.

Ways To Prevent Rabies

  • To avoid rabies, it is necessary to take preventive measures at the right time. That is, the virus must be prevented from growing in the patient's body.
  • When bitten by an animal infected with rabies, you must first wash the wound with soap under running tap water for 10-15 minutes continuously.
  • It is advised to cleanse the wound iodine antiseptic to curb the virus growth.
  • It is important to immediately take the patient to the nearest hospital.
  • Do not rely on home remedies such as applying turmeric or oil.
  • The  most important thing is to clean the wound.

It usually takes 4 to 12 weeks for symptoms to appear after a bite. However, the person bitten by an animal must be immediately taken to the hospital. The period between the bite and the onset of symptoms is described as the incubation period and the initial symptoms may be similar to those of the flu.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 28, 2021 09:11 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website