Friday, June 07, 2013

Rabies is an infection that affects the central nervous system. What should you do when you are bitten by an animal to make sure you are safe from rabies? Dr. Edward Hill tells us in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that can affect the central nervous system of any mammal, including humans.

Animals that are infected with rabies can spread the disease through their saliva or brain matter. People may be exposed to rabies when bitten by an infected wild or domestic animal. In the United States, the rabies virus is found almost exclusively in wildlife. Report all animal bites, especially those from wildlife, to your local health department.

Signs of rabies in animals may include having excessive saliva or sometimes foaming at the mouth, and paralysis.

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to the rabies virus, it is important to seek medical attention before symptoms develop. Rabies is nearly always fatal if not treated before the appearance of symptoms.

Once rabies symptoms appear, the disease progresses rapidly, and there is no cure. If medical treatment is provided before symptoms develop, the virus almost always is eliminated before it can cause serious damage.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.