Rabies or hydrophobia, description of the disease, incubation period, stages and periods of development, treatment methods and methods, prevention.

Rabies or hydrophobia is an acute viral infection. A person can get sick as a result of a bite or contact with the saliva and blood of a sick or dead animal from rabies. The disease is manifested by damage to the central nervous system. Rabies almost always, in the absence of intensive treatment in the first stages, is fatal. 

Rabies or hydrophobia, description of the disease, incubation period, stages and periods of development, treatment methods and methods, prevention.

The causative virus of rabies or hydrophobia can infect all carnivorous predatory animals. In nature, it is transmitted through bites from a sick animal to a healthy one. The main role in the pathogen circulation is played by arctic foxes, raccoon dogs, foxes, corsacs, wolves, stray and domestic dogs. In some areas, and cats. A certain role in maintaining the natural foci of rabies is played by rodents, in which rabies is asymptomatic.

(about 27%), small cattle and pigs (16%), as well as horses (about 2%).

The most characteristic signs of rabies in animals are behavioral disorders. Sick animals are not afraid of people. In the early stages of the disease, animals can relate to people excessively affectionately (at home) or as tamed (wild). However, they are usually aggressive. Wolves, foxes, Korsaks, arctic foxes and raccoons come even in the afternoon to settlements, bite people and animals.

The eyes of sick animals are bulging, the pupils are dilated and as if filled with blood. The tongue usually falls out of the mouth. Often sick animals gnaw on foreign objects and parts of their body accessible to them. Profuse salivation, paralysis of the respiratory apparatus and swallowing muscles, and general exhaustion of the body are noted. It should be remembered that the first signs of rabies in animals can appear only after a week or more after the onset of the disease.

At autopsy of patients with rabies of animals in the larynx and trachea, a pinkish liquid is found. Light swollen, as if bluish. In the stomach a large number of foreign objects. Rabies is ubiquitous. It is especially widespread in areas of the north where the number of arctic foxes is high, as well as in the steppe and semi-desert regions with a high number of foxes and corsacos..

Risks of rabies infection, its incubation period.

Rabies epizootics among animals are recorded throughout the year. The incidence of hydrophobia among people is more often observed in warm time. Since May September, the number of diseases has doubled. This fact is due to the seasonal characteristics of agricultural activities and recreation. However, for hunters, the risk of contracting hydrophobia is highest during the hunting season..

The incubation period (the period between the penetration of the pathogen into the body and the first signs of the clinical manifestation of the disease) varies widely from 12 to 100 days. However, in some cases, it lasts a longer time (up to a year). The duration of the incubation period depends on many factors:

Bite localization.
The places of virus penetration into the body by contact.
Severity of bites.
The age and characteristics of the immune status of the victim.

The shortest incubation is observed with bites in the face, head and neck. These bites are the most dangerous. The incubation period in children is always shorter than in adults.

Stages and periods of development of rabies disease in an infected person.

During the course of the disease, rabies is divided into three periods: precursors, agitation and paralysis. In the first period, infected people have aching pains, burning and itching at the site of the bite, despite the fact that the wound has already healed. At the same time, patients have causeless anxiety, scary dreams, and then insomnia. In addition, nausea, vomiting, and sweating are characteristic clinical signs of the first stage of human hydrophobia..

At the second stage, patients have a fear of light and hydrophobia (fear of water). The excitement of a person is growing. Auditory and visual hallucinations and violence are observed. After 2-3 days, rabies disease passes into the paralytic stage. At this time, paralysis of the limbs, face, and tongue are observed. Death occurs suddenly from respiratory failure or cardiovascular failure..

Methods and methods for treating rabies in humans.

There are no specific methods for treating people with hydrophobia. In the case of the first clinical signs of the disease in a person, it is almost impossible to save him. Prevention of rabies in humans is possible only as a result of vaccination with rabies vaccine.

Vaccinations are carried out after a bite or contact with the saliva of a sick animal only in cases where the animal was clearly rabid or it is impossible to diagnose the disease in the animal.

The diagnosis is carried out in the district veterinary laboratory. Under the influence of vaccinations after 12-14 days, an active human immunity against rabies is developed. In cases where the bite was on the neck, face, or head, the victim must be given rabies gamma globulin. It increases the body’s resistance, prolongs the incubation period of the disease and increases the effectiveness of the vaccine..

Prevention of human rabies infection.

To reduce the likelihood of hydrophobia, the first simple preventive care for people bitten by animals must be provided even in cases where the animal seems to be completely healthy. After the bite, without stopping the bleeding, wash the wound with a solution of potassium permanganate or soapy water, burn with iodine and apply a bandage.

Primary surgical treatment of the wound in the first three days is contraindicated. After providing assistance, the victim must contact the nearest medical institution, which sends a notice to the district Center for Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance and decides on the appropriateness and duration of treatment.

Animal rabies prophylaxis and control.

Prevention and control measures for rabies in animals include vaccination of domestic animals, extermination of stray dogs and cats, and monitoring the status of wild animal populations. Hunting teams should be actively involved in the fight against rabies. All hunting dogs should be vaccinated against this disease. Stray dogs and cats need to be shot.

Meetings with wild animals that are not afraid of humans or behave unusually should be reported to the district sanitary and epidemiological surveillance centers and veterinary stations, and animals must be destroyed. When shooting an animal with rabies, or finding a corpse with suspected rabies, it is necessary to take measures so that the corpse is not eaten by other animals.

The head must be cut off, observing the utmost care, and sent in a sealed package for analysis to the nearest veterinary laboratory. The corpse must be burnt or buried to a depth of at least 2 meters, treated with disinfectants (phenol, bleach, etc.). The final diagnosis of rabies is made by indicators of animal behavior, the clinical picture of the autopsy and on the basis of laboratory tests.

You should refrain from using meat and skins of rabies suspicious for rabies, since there is a possibility of contact with the virus through scratches, wounds and micro-injuries when skinning and carcassing.

Based on materials from the book Encyclopedia of the Hunter.
Petrunin V.B., Nikashina E.B., Kupriyanov F.G., Nikerov Yu.N., Rymalov I.V..

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