The central nervous system

The common and scientific name of the disease The common name is Rabies, the scientific name is Hydrophobia. Rabies (hydrophobia) is a viral disease which affects your brain.
What causes it? Rabies is passed through germs which affect both animals and humans. This germ is very good from hiding from the immune system, which is the system that fights diseases. It is normally passed down when a rabid mammal (and animal with rabies) bites another mammal. It is a fact that any mammal is able to be get rabies, including our home pets such as cats and dogs, farm animals such as cows and pigs, even bats are able to receive rabies as well!

What are the symptoms? How long do they last? Is it deadly? Even though you might have been bit my a rabid animal, it is still not completely certain that it has been passed on to you. The rabies virus will try and make its way into a healthy nerve cell, which is the smallest part of our central nervous system which is located on our spinal cord When the virus is attached to a never cell it starts to multiply (producing many more viruses like itself). Those then attach onto other nerve cells which could result spreading throughout your entire nervous system. This then causes the brain to swell. Unfortunately when in cases like this where the brain is swollen it becomes deadly and dangerous disease which can either cause the patient to be put into a coma then resulting in death. In order to identify whether an animal is rabid you simply look at its appearance. Most rabid animals tend to have a very mad behavior. Though at times wild animals maybe be very shy, waiting for a chance to bite, in order to pass the disease on. This isn't normal behavior for a wild animal, so when in a situation like that some thing is wrong! Often when rabies are
From the movie 'Over the Hedge' where the character tried to scare away the humans by pretending to have rabies
shown in movies they often show awhite foamy substance as shown in the picture to the right, from the movie 'Over the Hedge'. This is not exactly case, thought rabies does cause the body to produce more saliva causing the person to drool. If you get rabies and are not able to treat it in time, the disease splits into to phases.

  • The Prodomal Phase (Prelude)
    • Fever
    • Vomiting
    • Loss of appetite
    • Headaches
    • And pain in the area where bitten
  • The Neurological Phase
    • Difficulty when swallowing (throat)
    • Person becomes afraid of water
    • Anxious and Hyperactive
    • With animals, this is the phase when they had mad behavior and bit.

Rabies Virus (under microscope)
Can it be cured? if so, how If not, is there any way that we can at least treat it? Sadly once the symptoms are shown there is no way to cure it, as rabies is a very fatal disease. Very few people survive this rabies infection. Though there is a way to prevent it. As soon as the bite is taken place, it should be put into first aid. The closer the bit is to the face the higher the risk of getting rabies, as there is a a shorter distance to the brain.
Immunoglobulin should be given. Immunoglobulin is a type of antidote. They work by simply preventing the virus to spread into the celss so that the immune system has enough time to react and kill the virus. They should also be give the vaccination which is just a killed rabies virus. Rabies normally take some time to develop in ones body, allowing the body's imune system to be stimulated by the vaccine just in time before the symptoms of rabies start.

What can you do? Sadly this year over 55,000 people around the world have or will die of rabies. That is around one person every 10 minutes. This is affecting our population by quite a huge number. People are suffering, help raise awareness by telling others about this dreadful disease. Also warn people when you see a rabid animal. Try not to feed or have any contact with wild animals, and if you do see an animal acting strangely contact your local animal control.

The sad story of Zach Jones, who died from Rabies.