Rabies is a viral brain disease that is transmitted through the bite of an animal, more than likely a dog which is more likely to be in contact with humans. If it is allowed to develop it is almost always fatal. A characteristic symptom of rabies is known as hydrophobia which causes painful muscle spasms in the throat, which prevents swallowing. It is this that normally leads to the deaths of most of the untreated cases. Symptoms may take 10 days to 2 years to appear, but it usually occurs after 1-3 months, this is approximately the time it takes for the virus to work its way up from the site of the bite on the skin to the brain. If you have been bitten or have any type of exposure to an infected animal, you should go to the hospital immediately to receive an injection as any delay may lessen the treatments effectiveness. Once you are treated there is virtually no chance that you will come down with the disease. The rabies virus infects the brain and spinal cord, the virus will enter its host through the skin or mucous membranes and will then travel to the brain.
Symptoms after an incubation period typically of one to three months:
Restlessness and insomnia
General aches and pains - especially at the site of the bite
Up to 10 days after the above symptoms appear:
Drooling and sweating
Unable to swallow liquids
Rage, alternating with periods of calm
You should immediately clean the wound with soap and water and once you have been vaccinated you can speed up the healing of the wound by using herbs and aromatherapy.
Try to stay away from any strange animals and if you are planning to travel to an area where rabies is common in domestic animals such as in India and certain parts of South America you should get immunized.
When to seek further professional advice
As soon as you are bitten by a wild or un-immunized animal and if you are planning to travel to country where rabies is common, so that your doctor can vaccinate you against rabies.
Alternative / Natural Treatments
If you suspect that have been bitten by an infected animal you must get to a hospital as soon as possible. You must then receive the vaccination. You can then use alternative remedies to help you recover. The oil of tea tree or myrrh are antiseptics and astringents and aromatherapists will recommend that you apply it directly to the wound to help cleanse it. Chinese herbalists have used skullcap for centuries to treat rabies related convulsions. Applying a compress of lavender might help the wound to heal faster. Homeopathic practitioners will probably give you a remedy to help speed up the healing of the wound. Echinacea is thought to strengthen the immune system and to also help it recuperate.
The wound should be cleaned with soap and water immediately after you have been bitten, you should then phone your nearest hospital and tell them what has happened and go there immediately.
The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.