It’s already known to us that mad dogs, cats, and foxes spread the rabies virus. According to Medical Scientists in India almost 100% of rabies attacks patients die if they don’t get the right treatment in time.
There is a myth regarding rabies attacks that the dog who has bit anybody should be quarantined and kept under observation for 10 days. Today we are going to know if it is myth or real. We also will know what is the maximum day in which we have to take a vaccine (ARV) if we are bitten by any dog.
First of all we have to put one thing in our brain that we must start our treatment immediately after being bitten by a dog, it may be the same day irrespective of whether the dog is under observation or not. If it happens that the dog is missing and it was not affected by rabies, then we must start our treatment too. Yes, we have to.
Then your question is why. Why should the dog be under observation for 10 days? What is the need of this?
There is a bonus that if the symptom in the dog is not expressed till 5 to 6 days then the victim can stop the treatment considering the dog as unaffected. But still we should observe the dog for at least 10 days.
In developed countries this type of effort is unnecessary because they examine the dog within some hours to ensure if it is affected or not by examining the “Fluorescent Antibody” in its brain. If it is found then the dog is the carrier of the virus.
Can rabies incubation periods vary?
We have to mind one thing that there is no other treatment than a vaccine. If you find it is nothing but fake and fraud. Somebody can claim that he is ok without the vaccine or with another treatment, but here is the debate. There is nothing to be glad about because the logic is not acceptable. There may be two reasons; the virus spread by the saliva of the dog, if the wound is not so deep or the biting place is covered with clothes or after the accident if the person wash the area with antiseptic (dettol,savlon,etc.) then the saliva may not enter the bloodstream of the victim and therefore the virus can not enter too. The other possibility is though the rabies incubation periods can range from day to years, the average is 3 to 8 weeks (the time is important because the victim still should receive PEP. In that case, if the incubation period is on the protracted end, the PEP may still work.). Here comes another possibility. The wound place is important. The virus attacks our nerve system, and through it the virus reaches our brain. And then mainly we have nothing to do without waiting for any miracle. So, if the dog bites anywhere near to the brain, it is dangerous. Then the incubation period decreases. So, the person seems to be ok, may not be ok after some days. In his case the incubation period may be long.
N. B. The incubation period and observation period (10 days) are not the same. If an animal is exposed to rabies and the virus has found its salivary glands, the animal is considered infectious. It is now able to excrete a virus in its saliva. Normally domestic animals show clinical signs in its last stage, followed closely by death. They are infectious (able to shed virus in its saliva) before six days of symptom and they die after a few days of symptom. So, I hope the 10 days quarantine period is not a myth that is understood by you.
Caution: A vaccinated domestic animal also should be under observation after bite, because the vaccine may not be so effective.
The virus only is effective in warm-blooded animals. particularly mammals, can acquire rabies. This can be a dog, a cat, a racoon, a fox. A high risk animal is a bat because its wound is too small to be found, almost as a needle wound.
So, what can we do to protect ourselves?
1. Avoid bats,
2. Don’t handle sick, injured or dead animals without gloves,
3. Stop approaching strange animals.
4. Be caution from wildlife without proper training.
This micrograph depicts the histopathologic changes of rabies encephalitis using an H&E stain. Note the perivascular cuffing due to the perivascular accumulation of inflammatory cell infiltrates, i.e. lymphocytes and polymorphonuclear leukocytes. (Source: CDC/Dr. Daniel P. Perl, 1971)
There are some myths regarding rabies. Let’s burst these:
Myth 1. Human-to-human rabies transmission is impossible.
Fact- As humans are mammals and they are warm-blooded and they can be victims of rabies, then they can be carriers of rabies, it means if one rabies affected person bites another, the second person can be virus affected though there are no lab-tested cases.
Myth 2. Vaccinated dogs can not spread rabies.
Fact- Though the dog is vaccinated, you have to consult a doctor after bitten by it. The virus is not affected enough to be possible.
Myth 3. Rabies is not life-threatening.
Fact- Rubbish. I previously said that 100% of victims can not survive if they are not serious in time.
Myth 4- One vaccine is enough for the whole life of a dog.
Fact- One vaccine expires within 1 year.
Myth 5- Bite is the only way of transmission of the rabies.
Fact- Airborne and aerosol transmissions are possible during handling of bat. Besides dogs and cats can spread rabies by scratching.