Rabies is a dangerous viral disease caused by animal bites, mostly the dog bites. This acute virus will slowly damage the nervous system and will cause death if not medicated on time. The Rabies vaccination is the primary medicine used for treating rabies in animal and human beings. Children below 15 years of age are most common to this infection in all countries. Nearly 95% of the infection is caused by the dog bites. This is a curable disease if treated in advance. In later stages, it attacks the central nervous system and leads to death of the infected person. Nearly 60,000 people die due to rabies infection. This is a communicable disease found among animals, birds and humans. It is transmitted when contacted with infected fluid like the saliva, blood or by animal scratches and bites. The rabies free countries are Australia, European countries and South Coastal America.

Spread and Symptoms

Rabies is found throughout the world due to dog bites. Whenever an infected dog bites human beings, the rabies virus spreads inside the body by one week to three months time. When a dog bites a human, its saliva, blood and other fluids of the gums are transmitted to human. These body fluids of dogs contain rabies virus and thus it is transmitted by the dog bite. 5% of the rabies is also transmitted by the flying bats in a few parts of the European and American countries. But the incidents of spread through the bats are lesser known in the medical history. 95% of the cases are spread to humans are of zoonotic nature. It is communicable in animals and humans whichever come to contacts with the infected one. It may be transmitted if an animal bites other animals or an infected animal bites humans. The infected humans also spread this disease further to other humans by their body fluids. The symptoms may occur within a week time, 3 months’ time or a year depending upon the spread of virus inside the human body. There will be pain and tingling sensation around the wounded area. This also affects the central nervous system causing aerophobia, hyperactivity, hydrophobia and excited behavior. A few cases are found with paralysis. These symptoms may lead to comma stage and death is certain if found in these advance stages.

Prevention and Cure

The prevention of rabies is mostly done voluntarily. If you are domesticating pet animals like rabbits, dogs and cats, ensure that these pet animals are vaccinated for rabies prevention. Always be away from stray dogs, if any dogs noticed with strange behavior then report it to the animal department. Either get this infected dog eliminated or treat the stray dogs for the disease. Mass prevention can be done if various health departments coordinate with animal department to vaccinate all stray animals which are residing alongside the human settlements. Go for proper vaccination as precautionary measure if you have to travel at odd times in the stray animal prone areas. An immediate wash with soap water after a dog bite and applying anti-septic on the wound before going to a clinic will help to get rid of the infected fluids from bitten area which may have the presence of rabies virus. As of now cure is there in form of rabies vaccine, but many people ignore it as a mild crash or bite and as a result they get affected after a year’s time. In case of rabies, only a laboratory blood test will help to confirm the presence of rabies virus.

Research and Development

Even though rabies vaccine is developed, several research programs are going on to study the advanced stages of rabies affecting the neurotropic systems. They are carried out on animals and human beings. Since the main cause is zoonotic in nature, separate stream of virologists are mostly dealing with animal study. Most of the research is going on to bring back the paralysis affected patient to normal condition who became paralytic due to rabies. A special research is going on in the field of neurology to develop a substantial treatment for the brain and central nervous system which causes madness in rabies infected patients. Mostly all advanced stage complications are considered for research and development in the rabies study.

History of Rabies

Rabies is a Greek word denoting madness and also a Sanskrit word Rabhas denoting violence in humans. Since the Mesopotamian Civilization, the records of Rabies are found. Either from 2000 BC such deaths due to dog bites are reported with strange violent behavior in humans and barking like a dog in paralytic conditions are written in those ancient days itself. In those days infected person was killed along with the dog that had bitten so as to prevent others from similar conditions. Many dogs having such violent behavior were killed by the ancient people. The humans contacted with this disease were mostly isolated or forced to commit suicide. That was the order of the law in those days. The rabid dogs were a fear for the civilization in many regions of this world. These dogs were also used in war as killer dogs. It was only in 1885 AD a rabies vaccine was developed by Emile Roux a French physician and Louis Pasteur a French chemist. This vaccine freed this world from the rabies fear.


The north Eastern European countries, western cost of South American countries and the Australian regions are rabies free countries so far. These countries have only 5% of probability of exposure to rabies virus that can be caused by flying bats. The exceptional place where rabies is not at all prevalent is the Antarctic continent and a few islands of this world. Various health departments must conduct animal vaccination program to prevent rabies totally from their countries. More awareness program must be conducted in schools since rabies is mostly affecting school going children or teen age people. All remote and rural areas must be covered for the preventive action. Educate tribal people and people residing in remote areas about the perils of contracting rabies virus. Only way to avoid rabies is not to come in close contact with animals including the domesticated animals in your home. The Asian and the African countries are the most rabies prone areas.