Rabies is a viral disease transmitted through the bite of an animal.

What to look for:
After an incubation period typically of one to three months:
*  sensitive skin.
*  sore throat - general aches and pains (especially at the site of the bite), fever
*  restlessness and insomnia

Up to 10 days after the above symptoms appear:
*  drooling and sweating
*  inability to swallow liquids.
*  rage, alternating with periods of calm.
*  convulsions.
*  paralysis.

Rabies is a viral brain disease. The disease is terrifying in that it is almost always fatal if it is allowed to develop. You may develop it if you are bitten by an infected animal (usually a dog as it is more likely to be in contact with humans).

A characteristic symptom is called hydrophobia which causes painful muscle spasms in the throat that prevents swallowing. And it is what leads to fatalities in untreated cases.

The incubation period for symptoms can range anywhere from 10 days to two years, but usually it will be one to three months, the time it takes for the virus to work it’s way up from the site of the bite on the skin to the brain.

If you are bitten or have any type of exposure to an infected animal go to the hospital immediately to receive an injection (any delay may minimise the treatment’s effectiveness). Treatment virtually ensures that you will not come down with the disease.


Rabies is caused by a virus that infects the brain and spinal cord. The virus enters through the skin or mucous membranes then travels to the brain.


Traditional Treatment
Immediately after you are bitten, clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water and ring the nearest hospital to tell them what has happened and go there immediately.

Alternative/natural Treatments
Do not delay getting to a hospital if you suspect you have been bitten by an infected animal. You must receive the vaccination. Alternative remedies may help your recovery.

Aromatherapy - Oil of myrrh or tea tree oil are antiseptics and astringents. Aromatherapists recommend that you apply it directly to a wound to help cleanse it.

Chinese Herbs - For centuries, doctors of Chinese medicine used skullcap to treat rabies-related convulsions.

Herbal Therapy - A compress of lavender may help your wound heal faster. Echinacea is believed to strengthen the immune system to help you recuperate.

Homoeopathy - A homoeopathic practitioner may give you a remedy to speed wound healing.

Personal Care
*  Cleanse your wound with soap and water.
*  Speed healing through the use of herbs and Aromatherapy.

*  Stay away from strange animals.
*  If you plan on travelling to an area where rabies is common in domestic animals (India, parts of South America), get immunised.

When to seek further professional advice
*  you are bitten by a wild or un-immunized animal.
*  you plan to travel to a country where rabies is common; ask your doctor to vaccinate you against rabies.


(c) Medicines Information Pty Ltd

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