Cujo Gave Me Rabies

I remember working in the Pediatric ICU taking care of a boy who was from another country. His symptoms were strange neurological symptoms. The intensivists were concerned when they began to hear reports that he may have been in contact with bat feces in his home country. They began to discuss the possibility of active rabies infection. One thing that struck with me was the mortality rate of nearly 100%. I don’t exactly remember what happened to that boy but I do remember that.



This is going to be a very bad day if you have your character contract rabies. Rabies infection is almost 100% fatal even with treatment. Did you know that? Once you’re past the point of no return, it’s time to buy your coffin.

I thought I’d follow up last post by talking about rabies infection. As previously stated, rabies infection related to dog bites is rare in the USA due to widespread vaccination of the mangy mutt population (I own a dog so I can say this.)

Rabies infection occurs through the saliva of an infected animal when a bite breaks the skin. The incubation period is anywhere from 10 days to seven years (yes, I really typed years!) Though the average is 2-7 weeks. Still a long time if you thought the bite was fairly inconsequential. Incubation period is from the time of infection to the time symptoms are exhibited. During the incubation period, you can feel fine. This is the trouble with rabies infection. Treatment needs to be started before the symptoms start. However, in a person that feels fine, they may not seek treatment.

That’s the crux of the issue. Anyone else have plots developing in their mind?

Once symptoms appear, death usually ensues within seven days from respiratory failure.

Here are some further resources that discuss rabies infection.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002310/

http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/rabies/article_em.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/rabies/DS00484

How about you? Ever written a scene that involved the transmission of rabies?

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