Rabies Essay

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RABIES What is it? Rabies is a virus that in the U.S. is usually transmitted by a bite from a wild infected animal, such as a bat, raccoon, skunk, or fox. If a bite from a rabid animal goes untreated and rabies develops, it is almost always fatal. About 7,000 cases of rabies in animals are reported each year to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Raccoons are the most common carriers of rabies in the United States, but bats are most likely to infect people. Almost three quarters of rabies cases between 1990 and 2001 came from contact with bats. After a bite, the rabies virus can spread into surrounding muscle, and then travel up nearby nerves to the brain. Once the virus reaches the brain, the infection is fatal in almost all cases. Treatment Clean the wound well with soap and water, and seek professional medical help. You'll need a doctor to thoroughly clean the wound and remove any foreign objects. Most of the time, stitches should not be used for animal bite wounds. If there is any risk of rabies, you will be given a series of a preventive vaccine. This is generally given in 5 doses over 28 days. Call your doctor right away after an animal bite or after being exposed to animals such as bats, foxes, and skunks. They may carry rabies. Call even when no bite took place. Immunization and treatment for possible rabies are recommended for at least up to 14 days after exposure or a bite. There is no known effective treatment for people with symptoms of a rabies

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