NHS Service

Rabies Transmission: How the Virus Spreads and How to Stay Safe?

Exploring rabies transmission and safety measures

    Rabies is a preventable infectious disease that causes catastrophic effects on the central nervous system. The rabies virus (RABV) is usually spread through bites and scratches from an infected animal. Rabies can be found in every country in the world but is more common in Africa and Asia.

    Symptoms of rabies include seizures, hallucinations, and confusion. Once these symptoms start, rabies almost always results in death. Even though it’s a very deadly virus, it’s also highly preventable with the rabies vaccine. Travellers or workers who are at risk of being exposed to the virus can arrange rabies vaccination in Sydenham and Walsall from Touchwood Pharmacy.

    How is Rabies Spread?

    From humans to wild animals to household pets, any warm blooded mammal has the potential to carry rabies. However, it’s most commonly found in wild animals like bats, foxes and raccoons.

    Transmission of the virus requires direct contact with the saliva of an infected animal. It can’t be spread through the air or by just being near infectious animals. The virus enters the system through broken skin like cuts and bites or through the mucous membranes in the nose, mouth and eyes.

    Symptoms of Rabies

    It can take time for the symptoms of rabies to appear after exposure because the virus needs to travel along the central nervous system’s nerves before it reaches the brain. The first symptoms of rabies can feel like the flu before they progress to more serious neurological symptoms like:

    1. Difficulty swallowing
    2. Excessive salivation
    3. Hallucinations
    4. Confusion
    5. Insomnia
    6. Partial paralysis
    7. Agitation
    8. Coma

    Some patients also develop a fear of water and of feeling air blowing on their faces.

    How to Prevent Rabies

    The rabies vaccination can provide several years of protection against the rabies virus. After you’ve been vaccinated, you should still take precautions against exposure to rabies.

    You should never approach wild animals, especially if they’re showing signs of sickness or injury. Animals infected with rabies will act very abnormally because of the effects on their central nervous system.

    Since rabies is fatal and uncurable, anyone who will be at risk of getting rabies through work or travel should get vaccinated as soon as possible.

    If you are looking to get vaccinated against rabies, Touchwood Pharmacy can help. Our travel clinics offer several essential and recommended travel vaccinations including the rabies vaccination. Click here to book your rabies vaccination in Northolt, Ramsgate, and surrounding areas.