Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer Survival - Rabies

While many people enjoy outdoor activities in the summer, there are some serious threats to your survival that exist in the outdoors. There is a major threat that everyone should take seriously. That threat is contracting rabies. One of the worst situations you can encounter is an animal that is infected with the rabies virus. It is a silent killer that can have deadly consequences.

Rabies (also called hydrophobia) is a bullet-shaped virus which has deadly effects on the central nervous system of an animal. Exposure to rabies usually comes in the form of a bite from an infected animal and the virus is usually transferred in the saliva of the infected animal. Rabies is not transmitted through the blood stream. It travels through the nervous system to the brain and spinal cord with almost always deadly results for the infected animal unless they have been previously vaccinated.

“Rabies has the highest fatality rate of any infectious disease.”

Charles Rupprecht, VMD, PHD, CDC Rabies Program

Rabies Information

1.) All mammals can contract the rabies virus. This includes people.

2.) There are more than a dozen various forms of rabies.

3.) Most forms of rabies are usually associated with a particular animal species.

4.) The major hosts for rabies are bats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes and foxes.

5.) Possums are highly resistant to rabies but may still be a carrier of the virus.

6.) There is no effective treatment for a non-vaccinated animal once exposed to rabies.

7.) Rabies is found in every state except Hawaii.

8.) The widespread vaccination of animals has lessened the threat of rabies. Infected animals generally show no signs or symptoms during the incubation stage.

9.) Symptoms usually don’t become apparent until the virus has reached the brain and spinal cord of the infected animal. Death usually occurs within a few days.

10.) The rabies virus can be transmitted if a cut or open wound is exposed to the saliva of an infected animal.

The Signs of Rabies

1.) The symptoms of the “dumb” form of rabies is the one most people are familiar with and include such things as depression, weakness, paralysis and excess salivation.

2.) The more acute form of rabies, often referred to as the “furious” form is characterized by aggression, agitation, hyperactivity and paralysis of the face and tongue.

Avoiding Rabies

1.) Keep yearly vaccinations for your pets and animals (including horses) up to date.

2.) Vaccinated animals should also receive a “booster” shot from a vet if bitten by an infected animal or an animal suspected of being infected with the rabies virus.

3.) Try to limit your exposure and your pet’s exposure to wild animals that may be infected.

4.) Avoid wild or domestic animals that appear to be acting strangely or that may be showing signs generally associated with the advanced stages of rabies.

5.) If you are bitten by a suspect animal, seek immediate medical attention. You can be treated by PEP (post exposure prophylaxis) consisting of an injection of anti-rabies antibody and a series of additional rabies vaccines over a period of days. There is no approved PEP treatment for animals or pets.

CAUTION: Never try to catch an animal suspected of being infected. Call your local Animal Control Services and leave it to the professionals!

You can find additional information about rabies here:

*edit* You can read about Jenna Giese, the only known survivor of rabies without a vaccination:

Jeanna Giese-Rabies Survivor

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

Remember that headline several years back about a girl (I believe) who actually survived having rabies?

First-ever documented survivor, if I'm not mistaken.

Anonymous said...

Always good to keep a firearm on your if you're out in the bush.

Kentucky Preppers Network

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 9:58

Jeanna Giese was the young girl that survived. Another young child is still alive but is in an induced coma. I plan to edit my post and include a link to the story. Thanks for the reminder. Thanks. RW

riverwalker said...

To: matthiasj

Sometimes even little critters can be dangerous!Pistol or shotgun for varmints works in a rural setting but in an urban environment probably wouldn't be a good idea.


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