Rabies is common in Asia and Africa. It is spread by the bite of any mammal infected with rabies. It can also be spread by being licked by and infected animal if there is a break in the skin. Dogs and monkeys are common causes of rabies. Rabies is fatal in 100% of cases. The symptoms of early rabies can include numbness or tingling at the bite site, headaches, fever, confusion, vomiting coma and death.
Rabies can be prevented by avoiding contact with animals of unknown health and through vaccination.
Vaccinations can be performed in two ways:
- Pre-exposure vaccine: this is when a vaccine is given before a bite to prevent rabies. If you are bitten, you will still need to have 2 more doses of the vaccine.
- Post-exposure vaccine: this is when a vaccine is given after a bite. The vaccine is part of the treatment, along with wound care and another injection called rabies immune globulin. The sooner after a bite the vaccine is given the lower the risk of getting rabies.
If you are bitten by or exposed to a rabid animal, wash the wound well with soap and water. If you have alcohol or iodine, apply this after washing the wound. After caring for the wound, go to a good medical facility for treatment. There are different kinds of vaccines and methods of treatment. It is better to be seen at a facility that has modern vaccines.