Rabies is almost always fatal once clinical signs occur. There is currently no effective treatment for rabies after clinical signs appear. However, the disease is preventable through vaccination either before or immediately after an exposure.
Rabies caused about 17,400 deaths worldwide in 2015. More than 95% of human deaths from rabies occur in Africa and Asia. About 40% of deaths occur in children under the age of 15. Rabies is present in more than 150 countries and on all continents but Antarctica. More than 3 billion people live in regions of the world where rabies occurs. A number of countries, including Australia and Japan, as well as much of Western Europe, do not have rabies among dogs. Many Pacific islands do not have rabies at all. It is classified as a neglected tropical disease
The period between infection and the first symptoms (incubation period) is typically 1–3 months in humans. Incubation periods as short as four days and longer than six years have been documented, depending on the location and severity of the contaminated wound and the amount of virus introduced. Initial signs and symptoms of rabies are often nonspecific such as fever and headache. As rabies progresses and causes inflammation of the brain and/or meninges, signs and symptoms can include slight or partial paralysis, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, agitation, abnormal behavior, paranoia, terror, and hallucinations, progressing to delirium, and coma. The person may also have hydrophobia. Death usually occurs 2 to 10 days after first symptoms. Survival is almost unknown once symptoms have presented, even with the administration of proper and intensive care.
Hydrophobia (“fear of water”) is the historic name for rabies. It refers to a set of symptoms in the later stages of an infection in which the person has difficulty swallowing, shows panic when presented with liquids to drink, and cannot quench their thirst. Any mammal infected with the virus may demonstrate hydrophobia.
Saliva production is greatly increased, and attempts to drink, or even the intention or suggestion of drinking, may cause excruciatingly painful spasms of the muscles in the throat and larynx. This can be attributed to the fact that the virus multiplies and assimilates in the salivary glands of the infected animal with the effect of further transmission through biting. The ability to transmit the virus would decrease significantly if the infected individual could swallow saliva and water. Hydrophobia is commonly associated with furious rabies, which affects 80% of rabies-infected people. The remaining 20% may experience a paralytic form of rabies that is marked by muscle weakness, loss of sensation, and paralysis; this form of rabies does not usually cause fear of water
Rabies can be difficult to diagnose, because, in the early stages, it is easily confused with other diseases or with aggressiveness. The reference method for diagnosing rabies is the fluorescent antibody test (FAT), an immunohistochemistry procedure, which is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The FAT relies on the ability of a detector molecule (usually fluorescein isothiocyanate) coupled with a rabies-specific antibody, forming a conjugate, to bind to and allow the visualisation of rabies antigen using fluorescent microscopy techniques. Microscopic analysis of samples is the only direct method that allows for the identification of rabies virus-specific antigen in a short time and at a reduced cost, irrespective of geographical origin and status of the host. It has to be regarded as the first step in diagnostic procedures for all laboratories. Autolysed samples can, however, reduce the sensitivity and specificity of the FAT. The RT PCR assays proved to be a sensitive and specific tool for routine diagnostic purposes, particularly in decomposed samples or archival specimens. The diagnosis can be reliably made from brain samples taken after death. The diagnosis can also be made from saliva, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid samples, but this is not as sensitive or reliable as brain samples. Cerebral inclusion bodies called Negri bodies are 100% diagnostic for rabies infection but are found in only about 80% of cases. If possible, the animal from which the bite was received should also be examined for rabies.
Some light microscopy techniques may also be used to diagnose rabies at a tenth of the cost of traditional fluorescence microscopy techniques, allowing identification of the disease in less-developed countries. A test for rabies, known as LN34, is easier to run on a dead animal’s brain and might help determine who does and does not need post-exposure prevention. The test was developed by the CDC in 2018. Post-exposure rabies prophylaxis (PEP) is necessary if you are bitten by a dog, cat or other animal that is rabid or is suspected to be infected with the rabies virus. The assessment about whether you need PEP should be performed by trained healthcare personnel. PEP is always required if laboratory tests of brain material are positive for rabies. Treatment after exposure can prevent the disease if administered promptly, generally within 10 days of infection. Thoroughly washing the wound as soon as possible with soap and water for approximately five minutes is effective in reducing the number of viral particles. Povidone-iodine or alcohol is then recommended to reduce the virus further.
In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people receive one dose of human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG) and four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period. The immunoglobulin dose should not exceed 20 units per kilogram body weight. HRIG is expensive and constitutes most of the cost of post exposure treatment, ranging as high as several thousand dollars. As much as possible of this dose should be injected around the bites, with the remainder being given by deep intramuscular injection at a site distant from the vaccination site.
The first dose of rabies vaccine is given as soon as possible after exposure, with additional doses on days 3, 7 and 14 after the first. Patients who have previously received pre-exposure vaccination do not receive the immunoglobulin, only the postexposure vaccinations on days 0 and 3. The pain and side effects of modern cell-based vaccines are similar to flu shots. The old nerve-tissue-based vaccinations that require multiple painful injections into the abdomen with a large needle are inexpensive, but are being phased out and replaced by affordable World Health Organization intradermal-vaccination regimens.
Intramuscular vaccination should be given into the deltoid, not the gluteal area, which has been associated with vaccination failure due to injection into fat rather than muscle. In infants, the lateral thigh is recommended.
Awakening to find a bat in the room, or finding a bat in the room of a previously unattended child or mentally disabled or intoxicated person, is an indication for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). The recommendation for the precautionary use of PEP in bat encounters where no contact is recognized has been questioned in the medical literature, based on a cost–benefit analysis. However, a 2002 study has supported the protocol of precautionary administering of PEP where a child or mentally compromised individual has been alone with a bat, especially in sleep areas, where a bite or exposure may occur with the victim being unaware. Begun with little or no delay, PEP is 100% effective against rabies. In the case in which there has been a significant delay in administering PEP, the treatment should be administered regardless, as it may still be effective. Every year, more than 15 million people get vaccination after potential exposure. While this works well, the cost is significant.
Rabies is almost always fatal if it is left untreated. In fact, once someone with rabies starts experiencing symptoms, they usually do not survive. This is why it is very important to seek medical attention right away following an animal bite, especially if the bite is from a wild animal. Vaccination after exposure, PEP, is highly successful in preventing the disease if administered promptly, in general within six days of infection. Begun with little or no delay, PEP is 100% effective against rabies. In the case of significant delay in administering PEP, the treatment still has a chance of success.
If you think you have been bitten by an animal that might be rabid, the first thing to do is wash the wound carefully, then call your doctor right away! Your doctor will figure out whether you need to have a rabies vaccine. If you are a pet owner, be sure to keep vaccinations up to date for your dogs, cats, and ferrets (if you happen to have ferrets). This will protect your pets and it may even help to protect you! If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, get them to the veterinarian immediately. If there are stray or wild animals in your neighborhood, call animal control so that they are removed. Don’t let your kids play with them or pet them.
If you still want to learn more about Rabies Vaccine and HRIG during your visit in Bali, you can go and contact Hydro Medical Bali. They will provide you the information that you needed for Rabies Vaccine and HRIG. Also, they will provide you the vaccine when you needed it with the handling of their professional health care.