Definition of Rabies

Definition of Rabies

Rabies is a viral infection of the brain and nervous system. Generally, the virus that causes rabies is transmitted to humans through animal bites. Rabies is classified as a dangerous disease because it has the risk of causing death if not treated quickly.

In Indonesia, rabies or known as "mad dog disease" is still a disease that threatens public health. Based on 2020 data, there are 26 out of 34 provinces in Indonesia that are not yet free from rabies, with more than 100 deaths per year.

Causes of Rabies

Rabies is caused by a virus that is generally transmitted from dogs through bites, scratches or saliva. Apart from dogs, animals that can also carry the rabies virus and transmit it to humans include monkeys, cats, civets, and rabbits.

In rare cases, transmission of the rabies virus can also occur from human to human, through organ transplants.

Symptoms of Rabies

Symptoms of rabies usually appear around 30–90 days after the patient is bitten by an infected animal. This can make the diagnosis of rabies a little difficult, because the patient may forget that he has been bitten or scratched by a rabid animal.

Early symptoms that can appear include:

  • Fever
  • Tingling in the bite wound
  • Headache

In addition to the complaints above, there are several further symptoms that can be experienced by people with rabies, such as muscle cramps, shortness of breath, and hallucinations. These advanced symptoms are a sign that the patient's condition is getting worse.

Rabies Treatment

Rabies needs to be treated as soon as exposure occurs, even if symptoms do not appear. Treatment of rabies is by cleaning the wound and giving rabies serum and vaccine . The goal is to help the immune system fight the rabies virus, so infection and inflammation of the brain can be prevented.

However, if the virus has infected the brain, treatment will be difficult because there is no known method that is truly effective for dealing with it.

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