Rabies is an acute viral infection which is spread by the bite of an infected animal. In developing countries, rabies is usually contracted by the bite of infected dog and can lead to an infection of the brain and nervous system, which is almost invariably fatal.
If you have been bitten by an animal carrying rabies, you may not be affected. However, if you are then the symptoms can take between 2 – 8 weeks before you feel any symptoms, this will depend on the severity of the bite, in some cases the symptoms may not show for up to 2 years. Some of the early symptom can be Headache, Pain and itching around the bitten area, generally feeling unwell, fever. Other symptoms you can experience are Throat spasms, difficulty in swallowing, hydrophobia ( fear of water ) hallucinations, paralysis, hyperactivity and coma , these are when the disease starts to infect the nervous system.
Rabies is mostly contracted to humans through bites and scratches from infected animals, these can be dogs, cats, monkeys, racoons, foxes, bats, skunks. There are no records to date that this disease can be spread from human to human.
High risk people are oversea travellers, importers who handle animals and people who are less aware of the potential danger with domestic and wild animals, ie children. High risk areas are Asia, Central America, South America, The Far East and Eastern & Southern Africa.