Rabies (/ˈreɪbiːz/. From Latin: rabies, "madness") is a viral disease that causes acute encephalitis in warm-blooded animals. The disease is zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted from one species to another, such as from dogs to humans, commonly by a bite from an infected animal. For a human, rabies is almost invariably fatal if postexposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.

The rabies virus travels to the brain by following the peripheral nerves. The incubation period of the disease is usually a few months in humans, depending on the distance the virus must travel to reach the central nervous system. Once the rabies virus reaches the central nervous system and symptoms begin to show, the infection is virtually untreatable and usually fatal within days.

Early-stage symptoms of rabies are malaise, headache and fever, progressing to acute pain, violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, depression, and hydrophobia. Finally, the patient may experience periods of mania and lethargy, eventually leading to coma. The primary cause of death is usually respiratory insufficiency.

Rabies causes about 55,000 human deaths annually worldwide. 95% of human deaths due to rabies occur in Asia and Africa. Roughly 97% of human rabies cases result from dog bites. In the US, animal control and vaccination programs have effectively eliminated domestic dogs as reservoirs of rabies. In several countries, including Australia and Japan, rabies carried by terrestrial animals has been eliminated entirely. While rabies had once been eradicated in the United Kingdom, infected bats have recently been found in Scotland.

Read more about Rabies:  Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prevention, Treatment, Prognosis, Virology, In Other Animals, Research and Gene Therapy Uses

Other articles related to "rabies":

Rabies - Research and Gene Therapy Uses
... Rabies has the advantage over other pseudotyping methods for gene delivery in that the cell-targeting (tissue tropism) is more specific for difficult-to-reach sites, such as the ...
Silver-Haired Bat - Rabies
... Most bats do not have rabies ... However, most recent human rabies deaths have been due to a strain of rabies associated with this species ...
Adelchi Negri
... the Purkinje cells of the cerebral cortex in cases of rabies in animals and humans ... At the time Negri mistakenly described the pathological agent of rabies as a parasitic protozoa ... correctly demonstrated that the aetiological agent of rabies was not a protozoan, but a filterable virus ...
Prevalence Of Rabies - Europe - Ireland
... Animals Act included provisions to prevent the spread of rabies throughout Ireland ... In 2009, four people in Dublin received rabies vaccination therapy after being bitten by an imported kitten, although subsequent examination of the kitten yielded a negative ...
Prevalence Of Rabies - Europe - United Kingdom
... The UK was declared rabies free in 1902 but there were further outbreaks after 1918 when servicemen returning from war smuggled rabid dogs back to Britain ... The disease was subsequently eradicated and Britain was declared rabies-free in 1922 after the introduction of compulsory quarantine for dogs ... Since 1902, there have been 26 deaths in the UK from rabies (excluding the European bat lyssavirus 2 case discussed below) ...