Rabies: Overview

Dogs, bats, wolves, foxes, mongooses, and monkeys are usually known to spread rabies. In India, stray dogs are most likely to infect people with this virus.

Once rabies symptoms start to appear, the disease almost invariably results in death. For protection, rabies vaccinations must be given to those who are at a risk of catching the virus.


Early symptoms of rabies are similar to flu, however one might see the following changes after some time:

When To See a Doctor?

If you are bitten by an animal or are exposed to one that may have rabies, get immediate medical help. Based on your injuries and the circumstances surrounding the exposure, your doctor will guide you and decide if you need to get rabies therapy or not.

Seek medical assistance even if you're unsure whether you've been bitten. A bat that enters your room while you are asleep, for example, might bite you without waking you up.

Additionally, if you see a bat or another one of these animals close to someone who is unable to express themselves, like a young child or someone who is disabled, you should assume they have been bitten.

A rabies infection is brought on by the rabies virus. This virus is transferred via infected animals' saliva. By biting another animal or a person, infected animals can transmit the virus.

When contaminated saliva contacts an open wound or mucous membranes, such as the mouth or eyes, rabies can, in rare instances, be transmitted. Rabies may also occur if an infected animal licks an open wound on your skin. Animals that transmit this virus are:

Pets and farm animals

  • Cats
  • Cows
  • Dogs
  • Goats
  • Horses

Wild animals

  • Bats
  • Coyotes
  • Foxes
  • Monkeys
  • Raccoons

It has rarely been seen that the virus is transferred from an infected organ to recipients of tissue and organ transplants.

Risk Factors

Factors that can increase your risk of rabies include:

Pets and farm animals

  • Travelling to or living in areas where rabies is more common.
  • Activities that are likely to put you in contact with wild animals that may have rabies, such as exploring caves where bats live or camping without taking precautions to keep wild animals away from your campsite.
  • Working as a veterinarian.
  • Working in a laboratory to study rabies virus.
  • Wounds to the head or neck, which may help the rabies virus travel to your brain more quickly.

Prevention from Ringworm Infection

In order to lessen your chances of interacting with rabies animals:

  • Immunise your pets: It is possible to vaccinate your pets like cats, dogs, and goats against rabies. Do check with your vet on the vaccination frequency.
  • Pets should be kept inside: Keep your pets indoors, and keep an eye on them if you have to let them out. By doing this, you can prevent your pets from encountering other animals that may be carrying the virus.
  • Inform your local authorities about stray animals: To report stray dogs and cats, contact your neighborhood's animal control department or other local law enforcement agencies.
  • Stay away from wild animals: Rabies-infected wild animals may appear fearful of humans. Avoid any animal that seems unafraid because it's unusual for a wild animal to be friendly with humans.
  • Prevent bats from your house: Fill in any openings or crevices where bats could enter your house. If you are aware that there are bats in your home, consult a local expert to come up with solutions to keep them out.
  • Get a vaccine for rabies: If you find yourself frequently around animals that may have rabies, do speak to a doctor and consider getting yourself vaccinated. Definitely get the rabies vaccine if you work as a veterinarian or in a lab where the rabies virus is present.


At the time a potentially rabid animal bites you, there's no way to know whether the animal has transmitted the virus. At times, you may also not find any bite marks too. Your doctor will order tests to detect the rabies virus, but they may need to be repeated later for further confirmation. If there's a chance you have been exposed to the rabies virus, your doctor will likely recommend immediate treatment to prevent spreading of the infection.


Once the infection has taken hold, there is no cure for rabies. Although a few people have managed to survive, the illness usually results in death. If you believe you have been exposed to rabies, you must receive a series of shots to stop the disease from becoming fatal.

Treatment for those who have been bitten by rabid animals

You'll get a series of shots if you've been bitten by an animal known to have rabies to stop the virus from infecting you. If the animal cannot be tested, it is usually considered best to assume that the animal has rabies. However, this will depend on a number of variables, including the species of the animal and the circumstances surrounding the bite.

Rabies vaccinations include:

  • A rapid-acting vaccination against the virus called rabies immune globulin. If you haven't received the rabies vaccine, you'll receive this. As soon as feasible after the bite, this injection is administered as close as possible to the location where the animal bit you.
  • A series of rabies shots to train your body to recognise and combat the rabies virus The rabies vaccine is injected into your arm. If you've never gotten the rabies vaccine, you'll get four shots spread out over 14 days. If you have had the rabies vaccination, you will receive two shots throughout the first three days.

Lifestyle changes and selfcare

To prevent rabies and other infections make following changes:

  • Keep your pets clean and make them bathe as frequently as possible.
  • Take your pets for regular doctor checkups.
  • Get all vaccinations done for your pet.
  • Clean your pet’s wounds and infections
  • Get immunizations against rabies for you and your family.
  • Check for any gaps in windows or other corners in your house so that rabies infected bats or other animals can’t enter inside.
  • Wash your hands after cleaning your pet.
  • Immediately visit a doctor if you or your child gets bitten by a dog, cat etc.

Do’s and Don’ts

This condition requires proper treatment and a set of do’s and don’ts to be followed to manage it and its related symptoms and infections.

Do’s Don’ts
Visit a doctor immediately after being bitten by an animal or pet.Self treat after a pet bites.
Rinse the wound with water and soap immediately.Forget to clean affected skin every 3-4 hours.
Try to find out about anti rabies vaccination of the dog or any pet by the owner.Forget to take medications.
Take all the vaccines after a dog bites on a scheduled day.Use any antimicrobial ointments on the wound without asking the doctor.o
Wash your hands after feeding or cleaning pets.Forget to go for routine checkups.
Make sure your pet gets all vaccines.Apply cow dung to the wound for better healing.
Educate your children about rabies and how to take care of your pet.Apply turmeric, chillies, salt and ghee to the wound.

Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of doctors and medical experts who are experienced in providing empathetic healthcare services. Our diagnostic department is equipped with modern technology and equipments to conduct the tests required for the diagnosis of rabies, based on which a dedicated treatment plan is designed. We have an excellent team of General Physicians who diagnose and treat this condition with utmost precision resulting in successful treatment outcomes.



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