Rabies is a viral disease that is nearly always transmitted by an infected animal bite. If treatment is given before symptoms appear, the person can be saved from death. Here are the symptoms of Rabies:
Rabies progresses in five distinct stages:
- Incubation period:
The period before the symptoms appear is called incubation period. Generally, this stage lasts between 3 – 12 weeks but can also be between 5 days to a couple of years. This depends on where the bite is – the closer the bite to the brain, the earlier the symptoms appear.
- Prodrome: This is the period when symptoms first start to appear. They are usually fever like and can last from 2 -10 days.
- headache and weakness
- sore throat cough
- nausea and vomiting
- discomfort may occur at the site of the bite
- Acute neurologic period: This stage is when neurologic symptoms occur. It is at this stage that there are the least chances of saving a victim if at all.
- confusion and aggression
- involuntary muscle twitching
- partial paralysis
- hypersalivation and possible frothing at the mouth
- hydrophobia due to difficulty swallowing
- hallucinations, nightmares, and insomnia
- permanent erection in males
Toward the end of this phase, breathing becomes rapid and inconsistent.
- Coma and death
Coma usually results in death after a few hours unless attached to a ventilator. There is too little a chance of recovery here.