Rabies is a zoonotic disease caused by Rabies virus of the Genus Lyssairus. Acute encephalitis or inflammation of the brain proceeds towards muscular paralysis in Human beings as well as in a wide range of mammals. Fever, along with itching or soreness at the site of exposure may be followed by violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, and hydrophobia. Movement of limbs and other parts of the body might become stressful, accompanied with confusion, progressing towards loss of consciousness. Appearance of symptoms eventually leads to death of the individual. More than 99% of the cases in Human beings occur due to Dog bites. In America, Bat bites are the most common source of Rabies infections in Humans, and less than 5% of cases are due to Dogs. Rodents are rarely infected with Rabies. The Rabies virus migrates fom the site of entry to brain through the peripheral nerves. Unless the patient or pet is suspected of being bitten by a Rabid aminal, the disease is usually diagnosed only after the symptoms are evident. The time period between contacting the disease and the exhibition of the first symptom is usually one week to three months. However, this time period may also vary from less than a week to more than a year.
HISTORY OF RABIES
Rabies is an ancient disease. It is well described in the Egyptian
writings dated back to 2300 B.C. Rabies is caused by a virus that is
present predominately in the saliva of Rabid animals. The disease occurs in many parts of the world, but has been
successfully eradicated in Australia, Japan, Great Britian, Hawaii and the Islands of the Carribean Basin.
Across the world, Canine Rabies is of paramount human concern as it is accounted for majority of the 75,000 world wide cases of Human Rabies that occur each year. Also, the prevalence of wildlife Rabies in the United States, Europe and Canada has become an increasing concern for people in these geographic regions. the term 'Rabies' originates from the Latin word ‘rabere’. ‘Rabere’ means to rage or rave. The Sanskrit word ‘rabhas’ means to do violence. The Greeks referred to Rabies as ‘lyssa’ or ‘lytta’, which means frenzy or madness.