Rabies is no longer the widespread concern it once was, but it is still a disease that is almost always fatal in mammals. Rabies is spread most often through bites or scratches from an infected animal. Once infection occurs, the virus causes catastrophic effects on the central nervous system and brain before ending in death.
Early symptoms of rabies include fever, anxiety, headache, and tiredness. As the infection progresses, delirium and confusion will set in. This is followed by aggression, hallucinations, difficulty breathing and swallowing, twitching, paralysis, and frothing at the mouth. Death usually occurs within 2-10 days.
Most cases of rabies are found in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, but it is possible to contract it anywhere. Mammals that may carry the virus include dogs, raccoons, foxes, crows, bats, and cats.
Why Should I Get the Rabies Vaccine?
There are very few recorded cases of a person surviving rabies, but luckily this viral disease is preventable through the rabies vaccine. The risk of getting rabies is low for most people, but there is an increased risk for those who:
- Live in an area that has a bat population
- Spend a lot of time outdoors or with wild animals
- Travel to developing countries
- Have pets who are not vaccinated for rabies
If you are in one of these risk groups, it is recommended you get the rabies vaccine. It is not usually covered by the NHS so you would need to contact a service such as Touchwood Pharmacy’s vaccination clinics.
Rabies Post-Exposure Vaccination
If you think you have been exposed to rabies, it is vital you get medical help right away. Doctors will begin a medical regime commonly referred to as rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP involves giving a dose of the human rabies immune globulin and the rabies vaccine, with further vaccine doses given over the course of two weeks. If you haven’t been vaccinated, post-exposure vaccination may prevent the disease from progressing.
Touchwood Pharmacy offers convenient, affordable, and efficient vaccination services at their clinics. To get the rabies vaccine and other vaccinations you need to protect yourself and your family, book your appointment online at https://www.touchwoodpharmacy.com/