Rabies: incubation period in humans, symptoms and diagnosis


Rabies is an acute infectious disease caused by a virus that enters the human body when it is bitten by sick animals or by the contact with the skin of its saliva. Clinically characterized by severe damage to the nervous system. It is one of the most dangerous infectious diseases.

Without specific treatment - the introduction of rabies vaccine - the disease is fatal. The sooner a person seeks medical help after a bite, the less likely they are to get sick. Let's get acquainted with the causes, signs of rabies in people, talk about the principles of its diagnosis and treatment, as well as how to avoid this dangerous illness.

What it is?

Rabies is an infectious zoonosis of viral etiology, characterized by a predominantly severe lesion of the central nervous system, threatening death. A person becomes infected with rabies by biting animals.

The virus is unstable in the external environment - it dies when heated to 56 ° C in 15 minutes, and when boiled in 2 minutes. Sensitive to ultraviolet and direct sunlight, to ethanol and to many disinfectants. However, it is resistant to low temperatures and phenol.

The virus multiplies in the nerve cells of the body, forming Babesh-Negri bodies. Copies of the virus are transmitted through the axons of the neurons at a rate of approximately 3 mm per hour. Reaching the spinal cord and brain, they cause meningoencephalitis. In the nervous system, the virus causes inflammatory, dystrophic and necrotic changes. Death of animals and humans occurs due to asphyxia and cardiac arrest.

Symptoms of rabies in humans

The incubation period for rabies ranges from 10 days to 3-4 (but usually 1-3) months, in some cases up to one year, that is, the virus can exist in the body without the onset of symptoms. For immunized people, on average, it lasts 77 days, for non-immunized people - 54 days.

Isolated cases of extremely long incubation periods are described. Thus, it was 4 and 6 years after immigration to the United States from two people from Laos and the Philippines, isolated strains of the virus in these patients were not present in animals in the United States, but were present in the regions of origin of immigrants. In some cases of a long incubation period, rabies developed under the influence of some external factor: falling from a tree 5 years after infection, electric shock after 444 days.

Duration mainly depends on the location of the injury. The longer the virus has to get to the brain, the longer a person will remain outwardly healthy. In medicine, cases have been described where the disease manifested itself even 4 years after the bite of an infected cow.

Rabies in humans goes through three stages of development, each of which manifests itself with different symptoms.

Initial stage of rabies (1-3 days):

  1. The very first symptoms of rabies in a person occur at the site of the bite. By this time, the wound may completely heal, but the person begins to "feel" the bite. There is a nagging pain with the greatest manifestation in the center of the bite, burning and itching, increased sensitivity of the skin. Scar may again become inflamed and swell.
  2. There is a subfebrile condition - the temperature fluctuates within 37 С -37.3 С, but does not exceed them.
  3. There is weakness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea.
  4. If the bite falls on the face, the person will be disturbed by visual and olfactory hallucinations - obsessive smells, which are in fact not present, visual non-existent pictures.
  5. There are typical mental disorders: the patient is overcome by unreasonable fear, melancholy, and depression. In rare cases, anxiety gives way to irritability. A person becomes withdrawn and apathetic to the events taking place.
  6. Sleep and appetite are disturbed. In the rare moments of sleep the patient is overcome by terrible dreams.

The next stage lasts from 2 to 3 days, it is called the stage of excitation. It is characterized by:

  1. Due to the defeat of the nervous system, an increase in the excitability of the neuro-reflex system occurs. The tone of the autonomic nervous system prevails.
  2. A striking symptom of disease progression is the development of hydrophobia. When you try to take a sip of fluid from an infected person, a spasm occurs. He is exposed to respiratory and swallowing muscles, up to the onset of vomiting. As the disease progresses, such a spasm will arise in response to the sound of flowing water and even to its appearance.
  3. The breathing of the patient becomes rare and convulsive.
  4. Appear facial convulsions. Any external stimuli cause an acute reaction of the nervous system.
  5. Cramps become a response even to minor stimuli for a healthy person: a bright light, wind or draft, a harsh sound. This causes fear in the sick person.
  6. The pupils dilate, the eyeballs bulge (exophthalmos), the eye is fixed in one point. The pulse quickens, there is abundant sweat, saliva flows continuously, its volume increases significantly.
  7. Mental disorders are progressing, the patient is overly agitated, becomes violent. He carries a threat to himself and others, behaves aggressively and even violently. Infected rush to others, they fight and bite, tear things, hair, fight against the walls. In fact, a person during such an attack suffers terribly from haunting eerie images and sounds. During the peak of the attack, the person may stop breathing and also stop the heartbeat.

When an attack passes, people behave adequately, non-aggressive, their speech is logical and correct.

Paralysis occurs due to loss of function of the cerebral cortex. Paralysis of certain groups of muscles and organs (tongue, larynx, etc.). Motive and sensitive functions die down, attacks of spasms and phobias stop. The patient looks calmer.

There is a significant increase in temperature up to 40-42 C. There is a rapid heartbeat on the background of pressure drop. The death of the patient arises due to paralysis of the heart or respiratory center.

Thus, the total duration of clinical manifestations is 3-7 days. In some cases, the above stages and symptoms of rabies in a person can be erased, and the disease progresses very quickly to paralysis (death occurs within the first day after the first manifestations).


Diagnosis is based on anamnesis: bite of an animal or salivation of the skin. Then specific signs of rabies play a role: hydrophobia, hypersensitivity to stimuli (sounds, light, draft), excessive salivation, bouts of psychomotor agitation with convulsions (even in response to the slightest movement of air).

From laboratory methods can be noted detection of antigens of rabies virus in prints from the surface of the cornea. In the analysis of blood leukocytosis is noted due to an increase in the content of lymphocytes. After the death of the patient at the autopsy, the Babesh-Negri body is found in the substance of the brain.

Treatment of rabies in humans

Until 2005, no effective treatment for rabies was known in the event of clinical signs of disease. Had to be limited to purely symptomatic means to alleviate the painful condition. Motor arousal was removed with sedatives (sedatives), convulsions were eliminated with curare-like preparations. Respiratory disorders were compensated by tracheostomy and connecting the patient to a respirator.

In 2005, there were reports that the 15-year-old girl from the United States, Gina Gis, was able to recover from infection with the rabies virus without vaccination, when treatment was started after the onset of clinical symptoms. In the treatment of GIS was introduced into an artificial coma, and then she was introduced drugs that stimulate the body's immune activity. The method was based on the assumption that the rabies virus does not cause irreversible damage to the central nervous system, but only causes a temporary breakdown of its functions, and thus, if you temporarily "turn off" most of the brain functions, the body will gradually be able to develop enough antibodies to defeat virus. After a week of being in a coma and subsequent treatment, GIS was discharged from the hospital several months later without any signs of being affected by the rabies virus.

However, rabies is incurable in the last stage. The probability of a lethal outcome during infection is 99.9%.

Vaccination features

Since the treatment of rabies at the stage of the appearance of signs is no longer effective, prevention of the disease by introducing a special vaccine is required to prevent the spread of the virus.

Rabies vaccinations for a person are prescribed in such cases:

  • if he was injured by objects on which was infected with saliva,
  • if he was attacked by a clearly unhealthy animal and received open skin damage,
  • if he has been bitten by wild rodents,
  • if he came in contact with the patient's saliva with such a pathology as rabies, of a person, and in other cases where the saliva of the intended carrier could have fallen into an open wound,
  • if his body has scratches from contact with an animal, which soon after their application died for no apparent reason.

Rabies vaccinations are given immediately, at regular intervals. They are carried out both on an outpatient and inpatient basis, depending on the patient’s desire and the severity of the bites.

It should be remembered that vaccination can cause side effects, such as redness of the injection site, fever, dyspeptic disorders, a violation of the general condition. There are specific guidelines for vaccination against rabies and alcohol intake - to prevent the development of post-vaccination complications, people are forbidden to drink alcohol during the vaccination period and six months after it.


Specific prophylaxis is carried out by conducting a course of the combined administration of a rabies vaccine and a rabies immunoglobulin after being bitten or salted by animals. After the bite, you should treat the wound and consult a surgeon.

Wound treatment is carried out as follows:

  • wash the wound abundantly with boiling soapy water or hydrogen peroxide,
  • treat the wound with iodine or 70 ° alcohol
  • stitching of the wound, as well as excision of its edges, is contraindicated,
  • an anti-rabies immunoglobulin is injected around the wound and into the wound itself,
  • 24 hours later, an anti-rabies serum is administered.

The first two treatment points should be carried out at home, before visiting the doctor, the rest is performed by the surgeon.

Animals - carriers of the rabies virus

Today, there are two types of rabies: natural and urban. The first is transmitted through wild animals - bats, foxes, wolves, jackals.

And at the second carriers are considered domestic animals, but most often rabies is transmitted through the bite of an infected dog. How long does the incubation period of rabies in humans? How to recognize that the animal is infected with this virus?

Rabies in an animal: how to recognize?

The danger of infected animals is that the first signs of the disease in them can begin to manifest themselves only after a couple of months.

If we talk about rabies, the incubation period in humans is one, and in an animal it depends on age and weight and can be from 7 days to one year. To determine this disease in animals can be on the following grounds:

  • Inadequate behavior. Wild animals can lose their sense of caution and get closer to their inhabitants and people. And pets with rabies change their behavior - they become more affectionate, lazy and drowsy.

  • Changing appetite. An animal infected with rabies may eat non-edible foods, such as land.
  • Abundant salivation and vomiting. These symptoms in rabies can occur in an animal very often. The process of swallowing is disturbed, the animals choke while eating.
  • Coordination is broken. The animal often staggers when walking.
  • Aggression. This symptom may appear one of the last, and, as a rule, after a couple of days the animal dies.

But what is the incubation period for rabies in humans after infection? What provokes the disease?

Causes of Rabies

The causative agent of the disease is the virus Neuroiyctes rabid. A person becomes infected by the saliva of a sick animal that enters a wound during a bite. The virus is transmitted through saliva. The most dangerous for a person are bites in the head and hand.

After entering the wound, the virus spreads very quickly to all nerve trunks and reaches the central nervous system, and after penetrating the periphery it affects the entire nervous system. Multiplying, the pathogen causes serious changes: hemorrhage, edema, changes in nerve cells.

With the accelerated development of symptoms, a person dies very quickly, only an instant response and the introduction of a vaccine in the first hours after a bite give a chance for survival. But how is rabies clinically manifested? The incubation period for people how long can it last?

Rabies: clinical manifestations

In our age of technology, a vaccine has long been created, thanks to which a patient can quickly get rid of a rabies infection, and clinical signs are rare in this case. But a disease can still occur, and several factors can provoke it:

  • Long lack of qualified medical care.
  • Disorders in the mode of vaccinations.
  • Self-completed vaccination period of a previously scheduled period.

Most often, the death of a patient is caused by ignorance of what should be done immediately after the bite of an animal, and neglect of one’s health. Most people just do not pay attention to the bite - the wound was treated, well and good. They do not even suspect that the usual shallow wound (at first glance) can be the cause of a fatal disease, from which it will be impossible to recover in a couple of days.

Disease such as rabies (the incubation period in humans can have a different duration depending on the location of the bite) is very dangerous, and only going to the doctor immediately after the attack of the animal and vaccination can save you from death. But what signs should still make a person sound the alarm?

The first manifestations of rabies in humans

After the incubation period is over, and the virus has multiplied sufficiently in the body, you can see the first manifestations of the disease. It is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • The patient is greatly disturbed by the wound. The bite site hurts, pulls, itches, and if a scar has already appeared, then it most often swells up and becomes inflamed.
  • Body temperature rises and stays at 37 degrees.
  • There is a severe headache, general weakness, nausea and even vomiting.

  • If the wound is in the face, then hallucinations may appear.
  • There is a depressive state, anxiety, and maybe even irritability.

But it is worth remembering that there is rabies of several stages, and the symptoms of each of them are very different.

Incubation period

Be sure to have rabies incubation period in humans. Symptoms at this time have not yet manifested. This stage proceeds without signs. It can last up to three months, although there have been cases when the incubation period for people has been delayed for many years, but more often it is still not more than 12 months. Due to the length of time, most patients sometimes cannot even remember who or when they have been bitten.

If the victim is bitten in the head or neck, then the person does not immediately develop rabies symptoms: the incubation period may be just over one and a half months. A person bitten by the hand may not suspect anything wrong for much longer. And the further course of the disease can be divided into several main stages.

The main stages of rabies

After the virus enters the human body begins, if we are talking about rabies, the incubation period in humans. The stages of the disease are different, they can rapidly replace each other and are distinguished by their symptoms:

1. Prodromal period. At this time, the rabies virus enters the central nervous system. This stage lasts from 2 to 10 days. At this time, the first signs of the virus appear: itching, soreness at the site of the bite. These symptoms can be observed first, but there are also others:

  • general malaise,
  • sudden weight loss
  • headache,
  • fever,
  • nausea,
  • intestinal upset
  • sense of anxiety,
  • insomnia,
  • depression.

2. Stage of arousal. During her illness, the entire CNS is already affected. Very clearly manifests at this time rabies symptoms in humans. The incubation period is long over, and all the signs of a deadly disease are evident. Among the symptoms are very pronounced convulsions, the patient may die as soon as this stage of the disease begins, or its manifestations will lead to death.

Violent and paralytic rabies often develops during the second stage of the disease. During this period, patients develop hyperactivity, anxiety, hallucinations at a rapid pace. After a day, all these symptoms will be accompanied by flashes of great anxiety. Пациенты становятся настолько агрессивными, что начинают бросаться на людей, рвут на себе одежду и бьются головой о стену. У некоторых могут случаться судороги (достаточно интенсивные), а в один "прекрасный" момент такой приступ заканчивается параличем.

3. Стадия параличей. Movement of the tongue and eye muscles is paralyzed, the temperature rises to 40 degrees, the pressure drops, and the heart begins to contract faster. The duration of this stage is different for all patients, but it ends, as a rule, with death on the background of a lesion of the cardiovascular and respiratory centers.

4. Death. It is very important to determine exactly when the brain of a person with rabies has died. This can be done using a biopsy or determining the absence of blood flow. Very often, many people mistakenly take some neurological symptoms for brain death.

When do not need to be vaccinated?

Immediately the vaccine is administered to a person with the following symptoms:

  • Bites, scratches, saliva on an open wound or mucous membranes from animals that are infected with the rabies virus.
  • Injuries to objects on which saliva or the brain of an infected animal may be present.
  • Bites through clothing or in cases where it has been damaged by the animal's teeth.
  • If the bitten animal died within a few days after the bite.
  • Wild animal bites.
  • Damage to the skin by a person infected with the rabies virus.

So, let us return again to the issue of injections, because it is not enough just to know how rabies manifest itself, the incubation period in humans.

Postexposure vaccine is administered immediately in the hospital or on an outpatient basis. A person may not be vaccinated in the event that he was bitten by a pet, the bite was not applied to the neck, face or hands, if it was once. When a dangerous place is injured, three vaccinations are given to the victim. This is necessary even if the bite was inflicted by a pet, as it may be a carrier of the rabies virus, and the person will manifest the ailment, but not the animal.

For any animal that has bitten a person, you must follow 10 or even 14 days, and if there are first signs of rabies, immediately seek vaccination.


As it became clear from the above, it is better to be vaccinated against rabies than to allow the development of the disease, because the first symptoms may not immediately appear, and the further development of the infection can lead to serious consequences. Today they have not yet invented such a tool that would completely cure rabies. The treatment is carried out only with drugs that alleviate the symptoms and remove them. If time does not have time to get vaccinated, then rabies in most cases leads to death.

Etiology and transmission of rabies

The rabies virus is highly pathogenic for warm-blooded birds and animals. The virus circulating in nature supports its vital activity by spreading among a population of animals and birds. Despite this, the sources of infection in the prevailing majority of cases are dogs, both domestic and stray, which are infected in some way from wild animals. The proportion of wild animals, as sources of infection, is about 25-28% of all cases of rabies. In ten percent of cases, the infection comes from cats.

The rabies virus is in the saliva of an infected animal. A person becomes infected when an animal with a rabies infection is bitten and bitten. Particularly dangerous in terms of infection are bites of the hands and head, as well as multiple bites. The disease is characterized by seasonality occurring in spring and summer. A sick person, as a source of infection, is theoretically dangerous during the development of the clinical picture, when he does not control his actions.

According to the Rosselkhoznadzor, in the first half of 2012 alone, 950 cases of rabies were recorded in Russia, mainly in the Central Federal District - 52%, Privolzhsky -17%, Uralsky 8%, SFD - 7% Siberian 7%. The main distributors of rabies are foxes, in Russia up to 10 foxes are accounted for every 10 km2, and in order for the disease not to develop rapidly there should be no more than 1 fox per 10 km2.

In recent years, the number of wolves and raccoon dogs has increased in Russia, which, along with foxes, can also actively spread the virus. Moreover, such animals as lynxes, hedgehogs, bears and elks, to whom this is not characteristic, began to fall ill. Increased cases of attacks on humans rabid crows.

It is very important to vaccinate pets in a timely manner. There are cases when domestic dogs, not vaccinated against rabies, travel with their owners to nature, to the cottage, attack hedgehogs or return from the forest in blood and disheveled, and then, after some time, begin to react inadequately to weasel and avoid light, hide in dark ones places and soon die.

Previously, after the bite of a domestic dog, before carrying out prophylaxis, the animals were observed for 10 days, if the dog did not die, then no drugs were administered (see rabies symptoms in the dog). Today, in a severe situation with rabies and the presence of a safe vaccine, it is recommended that you immediately seek medical attention after vaccination and take vaccine prevention.

The structure of cases with clinical manifestations of rabies

As previously stated, the fight against rabies in the event of a bite or salting of an infected animal is reduced to the vaccination of the patient. Therefore, to date, patients coming with a clear clinical picture of rabies are rare. The incidence of rabies is associated with three main reasons:

  • Late seeking medical care after being bitten,
  • Violations of the regime during the period of vaccination against rabies,
  • Incomplete vaccination.

Unfortunately, for many people the elementary illiteracy and disorder in relation to their health becomes fatal. Perceiving the bite of an animal as a banal scratch, a person endangers his life. Rabies - this is the case when it is better to play it safe and immediately consult a doctor in case of a bite and even petition to animals.

What happens to the human body after infection with rabies? On the nerve pathways, the virus enters the brain and spinal cord and causes the death of nerve cells. Gradually, the destruction of the nervous system causes certain symptoms and, eventually, leads to the death of the patient.

Signs of rabies in humans

After the virus enters the human body, a hidden or incubation period of 1-3 months begins. In rare cases, this period can be shortened to 10-12 days and lengthened up to one year. The duration of the incubation is affected by the location of the bite - the longer the path to the brain, the longer the latent period lasts. There were cases when a person fell ill 4 years after being bitten by a rabid cow.

After the incubation period, the true disease occurs. There are three stages of rabies, which follow each other: I - primary, II - excitement, III - paralysis. So, what are the symptoms of rabies in a person after being bitten by an infected animal?

Initial stage of rabies (1-3 days)
  • The very first symptoms of rabies in a person occur at the site of the bite. By this time, the wound may completely heal, but the person begins to "feel" the bite. There is a nagging pain with the greatest manifestation in the center of the bite, burning and itching, increased sensitivity of the skin. Scar may again become inflamed and swell.
  • There is a subfebrile condition - the temperature fluctuates within 37 С -37.3 С, but does not exceed them.
  • There is weakness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • If the bite falls on the face, the person will be disturbed by visual and olfactory hallucinations - obsessive smells, which are in fact not present, visual non-existent pictures.
  • There are typical mental disorders: the patient is overcome by unreasonable fear, melancholy, and depression. In rare cases, anxiety gives way to irritability. A person becomes withdrawn and apathetic to the events taking place.
  • Sleep and appetite are disturbed. In the rare moments of sleep the patient is overcome by terrible dreams.
Stage of arousal (2-3 days)
  • This stage is characterized by high reflex excitability with a predominance of the tone of the autonomic nervous system.
  • One of the most prominent symptoms is hydrophobia or hydrophobia. When a patient tries to take a sip, there is a spasm of the swallowing muscles and respiratory muscles, even vomiting. This symptom is characterized by a progression - in the future, even the sound of flowing water and its appearance causes a spasm of the larynx and pharynx.
  • The nature of breathing changes - it becomes short and convulsive.
  • External stimuli exacerbate the reaction of the nervous system. There are convulsions that distort the person's face.
  • A convulsive seizure can be triggered by the movement of air, a sharp sound and bright light. Due to these manifestations, the patient feels fear of previously familiar stimuli.
  • Objectively observed dilated pupils and exophthalmos with a fixed gaze at one point. Sharply accelerated pulse. The patient perspires heavily and suffers from copious persistent drooling.
  • Mental disorders continue to progress. During the attack marked a strong psychomotor agitation. The patient becomes violent and dangerous both for himself and for others, and commits aggressive and violent actions (hence the name of the disease). Patients rush to others, can hit and even bite, can cause damage to themselves - tear hair, clothes, hit the walls and the floor. At the time of the attack, the person is overcome by horrific auditory and visual hallucinations. At the peak of the attack can stop breathing and heart.
  • Between attacks, the person becomes adequate, answers the questions correctly and shows no signs of aggression.
Stage of paralysis (12-24 hours)

Paralysis occurs due to loss of function of the cerebral cortex. Paralysis of certain groups of muscles and organs (tongue, larynx, etc.). Motive and sensitive functions die down, attacks of spasms and phobias stop. The patient looks calmer.

There is a significant increase in temperature up to 40-42 C. There is a rapid heartbeat on the background of pressure drop. The death of the patient arises due to paralysis of the heart or respiratory center.

Thus, the total duration of clinical manifestations is 3-7 days. In some cases, the above stages and symptoms of rabies in a person can be erased, and the disease progresses very quickly to paralysis (death occurs within the first day after the first manifestations).

Rabies - main symptoms:

  • Cramps
  • Elevated temperature
  • Cardiopalmus
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Hard breath
  • Apathy
  • Dehydration
  • Hallucinations
  • Excitement
  • Paralysis
  • Reduction of motor activity
  • Pupillary increase
  • Intermittent breathing
  • Fear of water
  • Inflammation of the bite area
  • Burning in the wound area
  • Pain at bite site

Rabies is a severe infectious pathology that develops in a person after being bitten by a cat, dog, or wild animal. This disease is characterized by severe symptoms and very often results in the death of a person.

Almost until the end of the XIX century, people had no means against this disease, and any treatment was ineffective, so the person who infected them from domestic or wild animals was doomed to death. Then a rabies vaccine was developed, which made it possible to stop the disease in the early stages and save the bitten patients. Honor and recognition for the creation of a vaccine earned the French scientist Louis Pasteur - it was he who made the first vaccinations against rabies and saved the life of a little patient.

Rabies is caused by a virus that belongs to the family of Rhabdovtrida - Neuroiyctes rabid. Human pathogen is a street virus that circulates in nature, while in the laboratory, scientists create a so-called fixed virus, on the basis of which the rabies vaccine is being developed.

Topical question - how is rabies transmitted? The disease is transmitted through infected saliva after being bitten by a sick person and animal. The most common source of transmission of the virus are dogs (up to 60% of all infections), rarely pathology caused by foxes, cats and other animals. The most unpleasant thing is that the animals themselves at the time of their attack on a person (or other animals) still have no signs of rabies - they become dangerous to others a week before the onset of severe symptoms. Therefore, if a person has a pet infected with rabies, he may not be aware of this until the animal attacks him or he has clinical symptoms - which increases the likelihood of infection.

The prognosis of pathology usually depends on the timely visit to the doctor after being bitten by a cat, dog or other animal, and on adherence to the prophylactic vaccination regimen. Those who have been diagnosed with a late-stage rabies virus and who did not promptly seek medical help after the incident die in 100% of cases.

Most often, children and adolescents come to hospitals with suspicion of the rabies virus - this is due to the fact that children are more prone to contact with different animals. Adults suffer from this disease only if the sick animal is attacked and the patient is not treated in time, while the child may not pay attention to a minor bite or getting infected carrier saliva into an open wound on his body.

We also note that people in rural areas are more likely to suffer from a disease such as rabies in humans, since they are more susceptible to contact with various types of animals.

The rabies virus, getting inside the body, spreads through the nerve trunks, affecting the entire central nervous system. After that, it is sent to the salivary glands, making the infected saliva dangerous to others.

The main breeding site for rabies virus is nerve tissue. Active growth leads to the formation of edema and degenerative-necrotic changes in the affected nerve cells, which explains the typical symptoms of rabies.


Symptoms of rabies in a person do not appear immediately, but only after 1-3 months from the moment of infection. Sometimes the disease manifests itself much later - six months or even a year after the bite of a cat, dog and other sick animal, which occurs when the bite is localized on the lower limbs. If the bite is localized on the arms, face, or torso, signs of rabies can appear within a few weeks.

In medical practice, there are 3 stages of this disease:

  • the first stage is the stage of depression
  • the second is the stage of psychomotor agitation,
  • the third is the stage of development of paralysis.

The first signs of rabies in a person are associated with the occurrence of unpleasant sensations at the site of the bite, although the wound that was inflicted may already have completely healed by that moment. Sometimes there is recurring inflammation of the bite area - suppuration and hyperemia occurs.

The patient complains of a burning sensation in the area of ​​the wound, a sensation of pain and swelling. If the bite was located on the face, the first signs may be the development of visual and auditory hallucinations.

Other symptoms that the rabies virus causes at the initial stage:

  • low-grade fever
  • the appearance of unexplained fears and the development of an apathetic state (less often a state of excitement),
  • disturbed sleep - accompanied by frightening dreams,
  • appetite decreases, and, accordingly, body weight decreases.

At the stage of the first symptoms of rabies vaccination and treatment of the disease do not give the desired result. After several days of such a state, a person becomes agitated and does not control himself - the disease passes to the second stage.

A characteristic symptom of the second stage of such a disease as rabies in humans is the development of hydrophobia. Man pathologically afraid of water - even the need to drink causes him to panic attacks with spasms of the muscles of the larynx and impaired respiratory function. One sound of pouring water can cause a panic attack and spasms, due to which there is a violation of the drinking regime and dehydration occurs.

Also in the second stage of rabies, a person is very sensitive to other irritants. Seizures can occur from the whiff of the wind, from the bright light and the loud sound, and the attack is manifested not only by convulsions, but also by an uncontrollable reaction in the form of violence and rabies. Patients tear on their clothes, fight, bite and spit - thanks to this, the rabies virus spreads outside the carrier.

Human pupils dilate, he often looks at one point, sweating increases, breathing becomes heavy and intermittent. A person's consciousness is dimmed, he is experiencing hallucinations.

Very often, at the height of the attack, cardiac arrest occurs and the person dies. If this does not happen, then after the end of the attack the consciousness of the patient becomes clear. This stage can last from one day to three days, after which (if the person has not died) the stage of paralysis begins.

The signs of the third stage from the outside seem to be an improvement, since the convulsions and hydrophobia cease, and the patient's physical activity and sensitive perception decrease. На самом деле это сигнал о скорой смерти человека – температура его тела резко возрастает до 40 градусов, появляется тахикардия и постепенный паралич всех органов и систем в организме. Когда парализуется дыхательная система или сердце наступает смерть.

Активные проявления такого заболевания, как бешенство, могут длиться от 5 до 8 дней. Sometimes the disease begins immediately from the second stage, and in children it can, in general, proceed rapidly - without severe symptoms with a rapid death (within 24 hours).

Rabies in a person after being bitten

The virus enters the body with a hit saliva an animal in a wound or any other scratch on the skin (less often on the mucous membrane of the eyes or the mouth) and along the nearby muscle fibers invades the nervous tissue.

He reaches the following parts of the human body, disrupting their work:

  • salivary glands,
  • nerve cells,
  • cortex,
  • hippocampus
  • bulbar centers,
  • spinal cord.

The virus body is unstable to high temperatures (above 56 ° C) and does not tolerate exposure to ultraviolet rays, but ignores the effects of antibiotics. but human organism - the ideal environment for its reproduction.

Nerve fibers act as a platform for further division of the virus and its advancement (it passes through the axons, forming the Babesh-Negri little body). It ends its way in the cortex of the brain and the centers of the spinal cord, leading to meningoencephalitis. The causative agent of the disease, moving along the nerve fibers, also provokes the development encephalitis (inflammation of the central nervous system).

From another article you can find out more detailed information about the first symptoms of encephalitis.

During its advance in the body, the virus provokes the following pathological changes in the nervous tissue:

If no prompt action is taken, these violations will lead to of death the patient. Fatalities occur due to asphyxiation or cardiac muscle arrest.

First signs

A person infected with rabies in the first stages may experience symptoms of a cold:

  • the appearance of fever,
  • headache,
  • muscle pain
  • loss of appetite,
  • nausea,
  • prostration.

In the future, symptoms will progress and you need to focus on the following signs:

  • fever after bite (up to 40.5 ° C),
  • crazy states
  • hallucinations,
  • anxiety and arousal
  • cramps and tingling in the area of ​​the bite.

If there is no change after the bite, in any case, you should refer to to the doctor: The animal could be a carrier of other infections and diseases.

After how much appear?

Rabies has its own incubation period. Often, for the first signs of the disease to manifest, time is needed - from 1 to 4 months. Sometimes for the development of pathology enough and 10 daysand sometimes it takes a year to go.

There is a case in which the period from the entry of the virus into the body to the development of symptoms was 6 years. Such a high duration of the incubation period is explained by the fact that the virus moves in the body along the nerve fibers and not through the blood vessels, which significantly delays the manifestation of the clinical picture.

The timing of rabies also depends on the following factors:

  • type of infected animal
  • amount of virus
  • strength of immunity
  • bite localization (the most dangerous places with a wide network of nerve endings are brushes, genitals, head).

Observations of the disease allowed us to distinguish 3 main phases of its course:

The development of the disease is not always unambiguous and does not always preserve just such a sequence. There are cases where rabies debuted immediately with third stage (paralytic rabies) or was limited to signs only second stage (violent rabies).

Prodromal stage (3 days) characterized by a slight increase in body temperature (up to 37.3 ° C). The patient has an unexplained anxiety, disturbed sleep. A prolonged wound left by the bite begins to hurt.

In the midst of a swing (4 days) there is an increase in sensitivity, the muscles are cramping. There is hydrophobia and aerophobia. Patients attend a sense of fear, they become irritable and aggressive.

At the final stage paralysis (last days) a person is completely immobilized, asphyxia occurs.