The rabies virus causes inflammation of the brain and this results in physical impairment and mental difficulties like insomnia, anxiety, confusion, agitation, and other abnormal behaviors. If you are traveling to a country where rabies is endemic then contact Touchwood Pharmacy for the rabies vaccine and advice on how to stay safe from this disease. We offer rabies vaccination at our travel clinic in Ramsgate and also at our clinics in Streatham and Bromley.
The side effects of Rabies
Rabies is transmitted in the saliva following a bite from an infected animal. The rabies virus travels along the nerves to the spinal cord and then to the brain where it multiplies. Once the rabies virus reaches the spinal cord and brain, it is usually fatal. However, it can take at least ten days to travel that far, on average between thirty and fifty days, and in the meantime, measures can be taken to arrest the spread of the virus and prevent death.
The simplest rabies prevention is to have the rabies vaccination and then follow proper precautions when you are abroad including staying away from or touching living or dead animals which may carry the infection.
If you are bitten or scratched, it is important to seek prompt medical advice even if you have had the rabies vaccination. The wound should be cleaned immediately with soap and running water for several minutes and then disinfected with alcohol or iodine-based disinfectant. Cover the wound with a simple dressing and then seek medical advice. Do not wait until you return home before asking for professional help.
Your pharmacist can advise you on how to stay safe from rabies and what to do if you are bitten or scratched by an animal whilst you are abroad. This includes managing the risk in remote areas where access to medical intervention is limited.
The road to recovery from rabies
The length of recovery from rabies depends upon whether or not the patient had the rabies vaccine prior to being infected and, how quickly they sought medical attention. Recovery is possible but only with medical intervention otherwise, the disease will progress and an unhappy outcome is inevitable.