Rabies Virus


    In News 

    • A proper study has been sought into the recent deaths due to rabies among people who are vaccinated against the infection.

    About Rabies

    • It is a zoonotic viral disease.
    • It is caused by the Rabies virus, of the Lyssavirus genus, within the family Rhabdoviridae.
      • It is a Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) virus that is present in the saliva of a rabid animal (dog, cat, monkey, etc).
    • Rabies is 100% fatal but 100% vaccine-preventable. 
    • 33% of global rabies deaths are recorded in India.
    • Common Vectors/ Reservoirs of Virus
      • The most common reservoir of the virus is the domestic/street dog especially in South Asia and Africa.
      • More than 99% of human deaths due to rabies are caused by dog-mediated rabies.
      • In developed nations like the USA, animals that transmit rabies are bats, foxes, raccoons, and skunks.
      • Most mammals can carry the virus and hence can cause the disease.
    • It spreads by the bite of a rabid animal that leads to the deposition of the saliva and the virus in the wound.
      • The incubation period varies from 4 days to 2 years or sometimes even more.
      • The incubation period means the time interval between the bite and the occurrence of symptoms/signs of the disease.
    • Symptoms
      • Fever, Headache, Nausea, Vomiting
      • Anxiety, Confusion, Hyperactivity, Hallucinations, Insomnia
      • Difficulty swallowing
      • Excessive salivation
      • Partial paralysis
      • Fear brought on by attempts to drink fluids because of difficulty swallowing water, etc.
    • The death invariably occurs in 4 days to 2 weeks due to cardio-respiratory failure.

    Control and Prevention of Rabies

    • Get rabies vaccination to prevent the infection.
    • Vaccinating your pet against the disease.
    • Maintain distance from the wild animals.
    • Wash wounds with soap and water and maintain good hygiene.
    • Keep your pets away from the other stray dogs.
    • Prevent bats from wandering around your campuses and living places.

    World Rabies Day

    • It is celebrated on 28 September which marks the anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s death.
      • Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist, who developed the first rabies vaccine.
      • He also discovered Pasteurisation, Vaccines for Anthrax and Cholera and Chamberland filters.
    • In 2007, the first World Rabies Day (ERD) was organised by the two founding partners namely 
      • Alliance for Rabies Control (ARC) and 
      • the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta (CDC).
    • The theme for World Rabies Day 2021 is Rabies: Facts, not Fear”.

    Source: TH