Every last week of September, the world merges as one in fighting rabies. The world rabies awareness is about educating ourselves with knowledge against this deadly plague.
Rabies is present all over the world except in Antarctica, but the rabies death toll in Asia and Africa is more than 95%. Once the symptoms of rabies are seen, it is more likely fatal and the prognosis is grave.
Dogs and humans alike can harbor the rabies virus from the saliva of a rabid animal. How does the rabies virus attack its host?
- The first phase starts when the virus is injected into the bloodstream of the victim through a bite or a simple lick to the wound from a rabid animal.
- Rabies virus is bullet shape that lodges in a nerve cell once it is introduced into the body of the victim.
- The virus will then multiply on that nerve cell until it is destroyed and the virus will look for another nerve to multiply exponentially.
- The virus will spread with a speed of 3mm / hours it will eventually reach the brain within 20 to 90 days.
- From the brain, the virus will travel all over the body and this time, the rate of spread and the damage is unstoppable.
- The Victim will now feel numbness all over the body and tingling sensation at the site of the wound even if the wound has already healed.
- Headache, fever and flu like symptoms seen.
- The Victim will show uneasiness and severe depression.
Most of the rabies cases all over the world are diagnosed in the last phase of the disease which is irreversible already when the victim is brought to the hospital. From there on, you can only watch them show the final symptoms like:
- Hyper salivation
- Burning chest sensation
Most of the victim will try to eat or drink water out of hunger and thirst, but their body will not let it, swallowing is already impossible because of the damaged nerves in the esophagus. The salivary glands are already destroyed that is why saliva is flowing out of the rabies victim’s mouth. As the symptom progresses, the respiratory system of the victim will shut down, the heart will stop leading to death.
It is really disappointing that if you take a closer look, rabies vaccine is just $1-$2, while if you were bitten by a dog, the hospital bills escalate up to $100-200 in both victim and the owner of the dog. Is it really that hard to prevent rabies? Is it expensive? Or is there negligence in our government? Or it is about the lack of information drive about world rabies awareness?