What You Must Know about Rabies Disease

Rabies or commonly known as mad dog disease is a serious disease that attacks the brain and nervous system. This disease is classified as a deadly disease that must be treated quickly.

Rabies in Indonesia

According to data compiled by the Indonesian Ministry of Health, there are approximately 70,000 cases of rabies-transmitted animal bites in 2013. Of the total cases, there were 119 of them positively affected by rabies.

In the year 2013, the province of Bali is still the most rabies-infected rabies animal bite cases with a percentage of nearly 60 percent of the total cases throughout Indonesia. While the second area most get rabies animal bite animal cases is Riau Province (7.4 percent), followed by East Nusa Tenggara, North Sumatra and West Sumatra.

The cause of rabies

Rabies are caused by the lyssaviruses virus. The virus is transmitted to humans through animals that have previously contracted the disease. A person may be infected with rabies if the saliva of the rabid animal enters the body through a bite, even through a scratch can if the rabid animal has previously licked his nails. In some rare cases, a person is infected with rabies because the wound on his body is licked by an infected animal.

In addition to being transmitted by animals, transmission of rabies disease from human to human can occur. But so far proven is transmission through transplant or organ transplantation.

In Indonesia, 98 percent of rabies cases are transmitted through dog bites and 2 percent are transmitted through cat and ape bites. In Indonesia also, rabies in animals has been found since 1884. While the case of rabies in humans in Indonesia was first discovered in 1894 in West Java.

Symptoms of rabies

The time it takes for rabies virus to incubate varies greatly, but usually between two weeks to three months. In rare cases, virus incubation occurs in just four days. The incubation period is the distance of time when the virus first enters the body until symptoms appear.

After being bitten by a rabid animal, the virus will multiply inside the host's body. Furthermore, these viruses will go to the nerve endings and continue to the spinal cord and brain which breeding occurs very quickly. After that, the rabies virus spreads to the lungs, salivary glands, liver, kidneys, and other organs.

The symptoms of rabies disease in humans include high fever, itching in the infected area, behavioral changes become aggressive, and fear of water or hydrophobia. While in animals, the symptoms are almost similar to humans, but without hydrophobia. When the symptoms of rabies enter the final phase, either humans or animals who experience it can die.

Diagnosis of rabies

Until now, there has been no test that can detect a person infected with rabies virus when newly bitten. The new rabies is known if the virus has finished incubating and initiating its terrors through symptoms. Therefore, to determine whether or not exposed to rabies for a person, the doctor only refers to the patient's description. In making the diagnosis, the doctor will usually ask if the patient has visited a place or area that is rabies-prone and whether the patient has been bitten by an animal that has the potential to carry the virus.

Treatment of rabies

If you have been bitten by an animal that has the potential to transmit rabies, one thing to do first is to wash the wound with soap and wash with clean running water. Next clean the wound by using antiseptic or alcohol. Do not cover the wound using any bandages and leave the wound open. After that, immediately to the nearest hospital or health clinic for further review.

If the rabies that infect a person is still at an early stage or before symptoms appear, the doctor will take a treatment called post-exposure prophylaxis that has proven to be very effective in counteracting rabies symptoms. Through post-exposure prophylaxis, the doctor will clean the infected body part, and provide a series of vaccinations to prevent the virus from spreading to the brain and nervous system. In some cases, the doctor will also provide anti-rabies serum.

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