- An acute viral encephalomyelitis caused by the rabies virus and other members of the Lyssavirus genus.
- Transmitted by animal bites, especially from dogs in developing countries, and from bats and other wildlife in the US.
- The incubation period is highly variable, ranging from 5 days to 7 years.
- Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis with wound cleansing, immunisation, and rabies immunoglobulin is highly effective at preventing the disease when given promptly and properly.
- Symptoms begin with a non-specific prodromal illness. In encephalitic rabies, this is followed by early-onset behavioural changes and late-onset paralysis. In the paralytic form, the behavioural changes are absent. Atypical, less severe forms of rabies are beginning to be described.
- Specific signs include hydrophobia, aerophobia, and paraesthesias at the site of the bite wound.
- The disease is incurable and rapidly progressive, leading to death within 2 weeks. The standard therapy is palliation.
Other related conditions
- Animal bites
- West Nile virus
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Cocaine overdose
- Amfetamine overdose
- Assessment of psychosis
- Respiratory failure
- Assessment of coma
- Assessment of hyponatraemia
- Overview of dysrhythmias (cardiac)
- Herpes simplex infection
- Bartonella infection
- Assessment of hypotension
Last updated: Dec 27, 2012