What is Rabies?


11:59 AM

1 min read
What is Rabies? Blog Image


The government of Jammu and Kashmir recently declared human rabies a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897.

About Rabies:

  • Rabies is a vaccine-preventablezoonotic, viral disease caused by the RABV virus.
  • It primarily affects the central nervous system, leading to severe brain disease and death if medical care is not received before symptoms start.
  • Transmission:
    • oIn up to 99% of cases, domestic dogs are responsible for rabies virus transmission to humans. Yet, rabies can affect both domestic and wild animals. 
    • oIt spreads to people and animals via saliva, usually through bites, scratches, or direct contact with the mucosa (e.g., eyes, mouth, or open wounds). 
  • Rabies is present on all continents except Antarctica, with over 95% of human deaths occurring in Asia and Africa.
  • It is one of the neglected tropical diseases (NTD) that predominantly affects already marginalized, poor, and vulnerable populations. 
  • Symptoms:
    • The symptoms may be nonspecific at first but include lethargy, fever, vomiting, and anorexia.
    • Within days, signs can progress to cerebral dysfunction, ataxia, weakness and paralysis, breathing and swallowing difficulties, excessive salivationabnormal behaviouraggressivity, and self-mutilation.
    • Once clinical symptoms appear, rabies is virtually 100% fatal.
  • Prevention:
    • It is a vaccine-preventable disease.
    • Vaccinating dogs, including puppies, is the most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people because it stops the transmission at its source.
  • Treatment:
    • Medical care following a rabies exposure is called post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP.
    • PEP includes wound care, a dose of human rabies immune globulin (HRIG), and a series of four or five rabies vaccines, which must be administered as soon as possible after exposure. 
    • This care is vital to prevent the disease from developing. It is nearly 100% effective if administered promptly.

Q1: What are neglected tropical diseases (NTD)?

NTDs are a diverse group of 20 conditions/diseases that are mainly prevalent in tropical areas, where they thrive among people living in impoverished communities. They are caused by a variety of pathogens (including viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and toxins) and are associated with devastating health, social, and economic consequences. These include Guinea worm, Chikungunya, Dengue, Kala Azar (Visceral Leishmaniasis), and Elephantiasis (Lymphatic Filariasis), among others, and India is home to about 12 NTDs. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that NTDs affect more than 1 billion people, while the number of people requiring NTD interventions (both preventive and curative) is 1.6 billion.

Source: Jammu And Kashmir | Govt Declares Human Rabies A Notifiable Disease