Rabies – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Thursday, June 14, 2018 by

Rabies, an RNA virus of the rhabdovirus family, is a viral infection that usually spreads through the bite or scratch of an infected animal.

Rabies is passed on through saliva, and an individual can develop the disease if saliva from an infected animal enters an open wound or via a mucous membrane, like the eyes or mouth. The virus can’t pass through unbroken skin.

More than 95 percent of rabies infections are caused by dogs. In the U.S., bats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and skunks often spread the virus. Most mammals can carry and spread rabies. But smaller mammals, like rodents, rarely become infected or transmit rabies. Rabbits are unlikely to spread the virus.

There are two types of rabies:

  • Furious/encephalitic rabies – This occurs in 80 percent of human cases. A patient with furious rabies may experience hyperactivity and hydrophobia.
  • Paralytic/”dumb” rabies – The main symptom of this type of rabies is paralysis and it makes up about 20 percent of recorded cases.

Rabies is also known as canine rabies, hydrophobia lyssa, and rabies virus infection.

Known side effects of rabies

A patient may experience the side effects of rabies at least within the first week of the infection. The early side effects of rabies are very common, and they include fever, headaches, and weakness.

The side effects of furious rabies usually include:

  • Anxiety and confusion – The patient may be overly active.
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Encephalitis – This may cause hallucinations, confusion, and coma.
  • Hypersalivation
  • Hydrophobia – Involves the fear and avoidance of water.

Meanwhile, the muscles of a patient with paralytic rabies slowly become paralyzed. Paralysis often begins at the site of the bite. This is the less common form of rabies and it ends in coma and death.

If the clinical signs of rabies occur, the disease is almost always fatal.

Risk factors for rabies may include:

  • Taking part in outdoor activities near bats and other possible rabid animals.
  • Traveling in an area where rabies is more common, e.g., Africa and Southeast Asia.

Body systems harmed by rabies

Rabies may cause the following complications:

  • Acute renal failure – The rapid loss of kidney function.
  • Cardiac dysrhythmia – An irregular heartbeat.
  • Cerebral edema – Excess accumulation of water in the intracellular and extracellular spaces in the brain.
  • Coma
  • Congestive heart failure – The inability to provide adequate blood supply to the heart.
  • Diabetes insipidus – A condition characterized by excessive thirst and the excretion of diluted urine.
  • Encephalitis – Infection of the brain.
  • Gastrointestinal hemorrhage – Excessive bleeding that begins in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Hypernatremia – An electrolyte disturbance where sodium concentration in the serum is lower than normal.
  • Hypotension – Low blood pressure.
  • Ileus – Disruption of the normal ability of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Increased intracranial pressure (ICP)
  • Myocarditis – Inflammation of the heart muscles.
  • Paralysis
  • Poikilothermia – The inability to maintain a constant core temperature.
  • Respiratory acidosis
  • Respiratory failure
  • Urinary retention – The decreased ability to urinate.

After the onset of rabies’ side effects, death because of the infection is almost always certain.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent rabies

The following foods, natural treatments, or nutrients can help prevent rabies and treat minor dog bites:

  • Cumin seeds – Cumin seeds can protect the body from bacteria and strengthen immunity.
  • Garlic – Garlic is a popular and potent antibacterial. Taking garlic capsules can boost immunity.
  • Goldenseal – Goldenseal extract is a popular natural antiseptic and astringent. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat allergies and digestive inflammation.
  • Manuka honey – Pure manuka honey has potent anti-inflammatory properties and it can heal wounds and prevent bacterial infections.
  • Neem – Neem can help heal cuts and wounds due to its antiseptic properties
  • Plantain leaves – Plantain leaves are often used as healing salves because they have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Treatments, management plans for rabies

If an individual is bitten by a rabid animal, the bite, scratch, or open wound must immediately be washed for at least 15 minutes with detergent, povidone iodine, or soapy water to minimize the number of viral particles.

Seek medical help immediately after the bite/scratch is cleaned. Once a patient has been exposed to the virus and before rabies symptoms begin, a series of shots can help the body fight off the virus. The shots are usually effective.

Treatment methods for the disease may include a dose of fast-acting rabies immune globulin. It must be delivered close to the bite wound to effectively prevent infection.

Only a handful of patients have survived rabies. Most rabies cases are fatal once the symptoms develop because there is no effective treatment at this stage.

Individuals with symptoms must be made as comfortable as possible. They may require breathing assistance.

Where to learn more

Summary

An RNA virus of the rhabdovirus family, rabies is a viral infection that usually spreads through the bite or scratch of an infected animal.

The early side effects of rabies are very common, and they include fever, headaches, and weakness.

Rabies may cause complications like acute renal failure, cardiac dysrhythmia, and cerebral edema.

Cumin seeds, garlic, goldenseal, manuka honey, neem, and plantain leaves can help prevent rabies and treat minor dog bites.

The bite, scratch, or open wound must immediately be washed for at least 15 minutes with detergent, povidone iodine, or soapy water to minimize the number of viral particles. Seek medical help immediately after the bite/scratch is cleaned.

Sources include

MedicalNews.com

MedicineNet.com

DoveMed.com

CureJoy.com



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