People urged to seek prompt medical advice if they suspect rabies exposure

ScienceDaily | 4/14/2019 | Staff
trainman (Posted by) Level 3
"The findings highlight the importance of raising public awareness around the risks of rabies, both for travellers visiting rabies-infected countries and from bat exposures in the UK," says co-author Dr Kevin Brown, Head of Rabies and Immunoglobulin Service for Public Health England.

Symptoms typically take 2 to 3 months to appear, but can develop in as little as a week (following severe bites to the head) or up to several years after exposure. "Preventive treatments are 100% effective if given promptly after exposure," says Dr Brown. "That's why seeking prompt care is so important, even if the wound or incident seems very trivial. If you are bitten, scratched, or licked by an animal you must wash the wound or site of exposure with plenty of soap and water and seek medical advice without delay. Travellers should not delay waiting for treatment until they return to the UK."

Rabies - Infection - Disease - Animals - Humans

Rabies is a zoonotic infection (a disease that spreads from animals to humans) that can cause a rare but life-threatening infection of the brain and nervous system in humans. It usually results from a bite, scratch, or lick from an infected animal. The virus is estimated to kill around 59,000 people every year worldwide, most often as a result of a bite from a rabid dog in parts of Africa and Asia.

Rabies does not circulate in wild or domestic animals in the UK, although some species of bats can carry rabies-like viruses (European Bat Lyssavirus type 1 and type 2). Every year around 150 people in England are treated after being bitten by a bat.

People - Rabies - Treatment - Series - Rabies

People who believe they may have been exposed to rabies are advised to immediately seek treatment which involves a series of rabies vaccinations with or without immunoglobulin, an antibody treatment that gives immediate short-term protection while the vaccines start to work.

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