What is rabies?

How is rabies transmitted from which animals?
The main source of rabies in nature is wild animals such as wolves, jackals, foxes, pigs, bears and hyenas. In addition, a bat carries the rabies virus, which is only seen in South America. The rabies virus can somehow pass on to domestic animals such as dogs, cats and donkeys and continue its existence among them. Cold-blooded animals such as snakes and lizards do not carry rabies virus. Biting by birds, chickens, mice, hamsters and rabbits does not pose a risk of rabies. Almost all animals become sick and die after ingesting the rabies virus. Only bats can carry the rabies virus before they get sick.

Rabies virus causes disease by passing to humans with the wounds formed as a result of the bites of sick animals. More rarely, people with open wounds can get rabies virus as a result of scratching their feet and paws contaminated with the saliva of these sick animals. Almost all injuries with rabies risk are caused by unwarranted attacks. The biting events that occur when the animals are eating, when a food given to them is desired to be taken again, the animal is hurt, when the puppies of the animals with their offspring are touched or approached, or when the shepherd and guard dogs bred to protect the herd or an area are approached, the biting events that occur are generally innocent in terms of rabies. . But the wounds inflicted by hounds should always be viewed with suspicion.

Characteristics of animals with rabies

  • Animals with rabies show behavioral changes in the first period of the disease.
  • At first they are timid and cowardly.
  • He urinates frequently, there is a desire to drink excessive water.
  • While trying to stay out of sight in the past, they increasingly ignore the owner’s orders and even attack their owners.
  • Dogs never leave their homes and come back.As the disease progresses, they begin to salivate in large amounts from their mouths.
  • They gradually lose their balance, become unable to walk due to paralysis, and they fall.
    An animal with rabies dies within a week at the latest.

How does rabies develop in humans?

The virus goes to the brain through the nerves in the wound caused by the rabid animal, where it reproduces and begins to reproduce. This process progresses slowly. The time taken after the virus enters the body until the symptoms appear is called the incubation period. Although this period varies between 20 and 60 days on average, the incubation period may be shortened or extended depending on the proximity of the bite site to the brain, the size of the wound and the richness of the nerves of the wound site. It may shorten to 4-5 days or extend up to a year.


What to do with rabies suspected bites?

This issue is much more important than how rabies is and how it develops. Because when there is a risk of rabies disease, measures to be taken, not treatment, are life-saving. The most effective procedure among these is washing the wound area with soapy water. It has been determined that this very easy procedure, which can be applied anywhere, reduces the risk of rabies by over 90 percent for the injured person. The second most important thing to do is to take the animal that caused the injury, if possible, under surveillance. As we mentioned before, the rabid animal dies within a week at the latest. The 10-day survival of the animal under observation will indicate that the risk of rabies is eliminated. This will save us from unnecessary fear and panic. Another important point is to apply to a health institution as soon as possible. Correct and complete information should be given about how the incident happened, whether the animal that bites was owned or not, whether it was taken under observation or not. The physician evaluating the patient will give it taking into account all the data. The location of the wound, the size of the wound, the reason for the biting, the wound being washed with soapy water, and whether the animal is under observation will decide whether to vaccinate or not. After that, what the patient needs to do is to follow the advice of the physician completely.


What should be done and what should not be done?

It is wrong to angrily kill the animal that bit or caused injury. If the attack does not continue, animals that bite or scratch should not be killed unless there is an ongoing danger. It should not be tried to treat the wound with different methods. Regardless, it should not be neglected to apply to a health institution. The incident should not be ignored by trivializing it. Generally ;

  • Avoid animals that are eating their food
  • Unrecognized animals should not be approached
  • Animals should not be hurt
  • Animals raised at home or in line with our work should be vaccinated on time.
  • Animals that are sick or in need of help should be approached with caution
  • Attention should be paid to animals with puppies
  • Pets should be kept under control
  • Hands and wounds should be washed with soapy water for all minor injuries.
  • Rabies vaccine
  • If there is a risk of rabies, the most effective measure to be taken is vaccination. Vaccines
  • made in the past had a lot of side effects. However, the protection power was not high.
  • Today, vaccines made with viruses produced in human cells are used. They have little to
  • no side effects, and their protective power is high. The classical schedule is in the form of
  • one dose arm vaccination on the 3rd, 7th, 14th, 28th and 90th days, counting the bite
  • event on the 0th day. Different vaccination programs can be applied, such as vaccination
  • of previously vaccinated persons, vaccination without exposure to bite due to occupation (veterinarians, etc.), vaccination during the time the bitten animal is under observation
  • This will be decided by the physician in the institution applied.

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