Rabies Notes

I know I’ve posted about rabies before, but I like to remind people every now and then not to go sticking their fingers near wild animals or domestic animals acting strangely – especially by the mouth or claw areas.

The incubation period in humans can last from a few months to a few years depending on the patient.

The first symptoms may feel like the onset of the flu, and may include a fever and sore throat.

Later (maybe after a few days or so) the patient may experience:
-difficulty in sleeping or inability to sleep
-tingling sensation where bitten or scratched
-a freakish amount of salivation
-confusion and/or change in behavior
-breathing problems
-heart problems

(above happens over approximately two weeks)

The patient may also experience muscle spasms of the mouth and throat during this time, which will make eating, drinking and speaking difficult (rabies is also sometimes called “hydrophobia” for the above reason since the muscle spasms result in difficulty swallowing, making the patient want to avoid drinking water lest they choke to death).

By the time the patient starts showing signs of illness they are doomed, and the doctors can’t do much more to help the patient
other than giving them sedatives to ease their suffering.

There is virtually no chance of survival once the patient begins to exhibit symptoms.


The sources are the usual suspects again:

“The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide” Medical Editor: Charles B. Clayman, MD (ISBN: 0-679-41290-5)

“Standard First Aid and Personal Safety” (“Prepared by the American Red Cross”) (ISBN: 0-385-15736-3)