What is the relationship between the zombie virus and rabies and human health

The dog | the virus that turns humans into zombies that fear water | to fight it scientists rained chicken heads on forests.

But for the rabies virus to cause the zombie pandemic to spread as it does in the movies, it also has to be more contagious. Humans usually get rabies after being bitten by an infected animal, usually a dog - and the infection usually stops there.

Many people ask these questions on social networking sites or search for them on Google, and the most important of these questions are as follows:

  • What is the most dangerous virus on earth?
  • How do people turn into zombies?
  • How did scientists fight it in raining forests with chicken heads?
The answers in this report are interesting.

The purpose of this report is not to frighten, but rather to learn about this disease and beware of it. In preparing it, we returned to several sources, including a video from the "Kurzgesagt" YouTube channel, the World Health Organization, the Arab Scientific Society, and the Atlantic magazine.

dogs are a threat to human health with the most dangerous virus on earth.

To clarify, we are not talking here about zombies in the sense of movies, but rather about the neurological changes that occur to the injured, which usually when symptoms begin, the probability of death is almost 100%.

This analogy is to clarify the seriousness of the disease and does not mean any underestimation or simplification of the injury or the suffering of the injured, tens of thousands of whom die annually from the disease.

According to the World Health Organization, rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that occurs in more than 150 countries and territories.

Dogs are the primary source of human rabies infection and cause death, contributing to up to 99% of all human rabies transmissions. The transmission of infection can be stopped by vaccinating dogs and preventing them from being bitten.

The infection kills tens of thousands of people each year, mostly in Asia and Africa. The cost of rabies globally is estimated at $8.6 billion annually.

Children under the age of 15 represent 40% of people bitten by animals suspected of having rabies.

Each year, more than 29 million people in the world receive the vaccination after exposure to animal bites. This prevents annually - according to estimates - hundreds of thousands of deaths from rabies.

Rabies incubation period

The incubation period for rabies usually extends from two to three months but may range from a week to a year, depending on factors such as where the virus enters the body and viral load, according to the World Health Organization.

Symptoms of rabies

Initial symptoms of rabies include:

  • Pain accompanied by fever.
  • Unusual or unexplained tingling, stinging, or burning pain (paresthesia of the extremities) at the site of the wound.
  • As the virus spreads to the central nervous system, progressive and fatal inflammation occurs in the brain and spinal cord, according to the WHO.

The attack of the rabies virus on the nervous system leads to the changes that we describe as making the infected like a zombie.

Forms of rabies

Irritable rabies 

This shape results in:

  • Hyperactivity.
  • Excitability.
  • Hydrophobia (fear of water).
  • Aerophobia (fear of air currents or the outdoors) sometimes.
  • Death occurs a few days later as a result of cardiac and respiratory arrest.

Paralytic rabies

This figure represents about 20% of the total human cases. It does not develop as suddenly as a furious form, and usually takes a longer course. And in it:

  • Muscles gradually become paralyzed, starting from the site of the bite or scratch.
  • The person slowly falls into a coma and eventually dies.
The paralytic form of rabies is often misdiagnosed, which contributes to underreporting of the disease, according to the WHO.

Rabies infection transmission

People usually become infected after being bitten or scratched by infected dogs or animals, and human infections transmitted from infected dogs account for 99% of cases.

In the Americas, bats are now the leading cause of human rabies mortality, with this region interrupting most of the transmission of canine-borne infection.

Rabies in bats is also an emerging public health threat in Australia and Western Europe.

Rarely have human deaths reported from exposure to foxes, raccoons, skunks, jackals, mongooses, and other wild carnivores, and biting by rodents is not known as a cause of rabies transmission, according to the WHO.

The infection can also be transmitted when the saliva of infected animals comes into direct contact with the mucous membranes of humans or fresh skin wounds.

It was previously reported that transmission of rabies by inhaling droplets containing the virus or transplanting contaminated organs occurs rarely.

Is rabies transmitted among humans

The World Health Organization says, "The transmission of infection between humans by biting is theoretically possible, but has never been confirmed. This also applies to transmission to humans through consumption of raw meat or milk of infected animals."

Post-exposure prophylaxis for rabies virus

Post-exposure prophylaxis is the immediate treatment of a person after being bitten by rabies. This treatment prevents the virus from entering the central nervous system, which leads to imminent death.

The preventive treatment after exposure to the virus is the following:

  • Proper washing and topical treatment of a wound caused by biting or scratching as soon as possible after a suspected exposure.
  • Undergo a course on effective rabies vaccine, which meets the standards of the World Health Organization.
  • Get anti-rabies immunoglobulin if recommended.
  • Starting treatment immediately after exposure to the rabies virus can effectively prevent symptoms and death.

How do you wash a wound after being bitten by an animal suspected of carrying rabies

This first aid measure involves rinsing and washing the wound thoroughly for at least 15 minutes with soap and water, detergent, povidone-iodine, or other substances that remove and kill the rabies virus.

Post-exposure vaccine

It is usually taken as a precautionary measure before exposure to the pathogen. However, there are a few cases in which the vaccine can be given to humans after exposure, including exposure to the rabies virus.


that rabies is a viral disease transmitted by mammals, such as monkeys, foxes, cats, bats, and others; But dogs are the most common, and it is transmitted between animals.

Rabies-causing organism

The name of the rabies virus is Ribes lysaviviruses, and it belongs to the order of "monads-negative viruses", which are viruses with undivided, negative-RNA genomes.

Within this group, viruses are classified with the "bullet" shape characteristic of the "Rhabdoviridae" family of rabies viruses.

Rabies virus composition

The virus that causes rabies is approximately 180 nanometers long and 75 nanometers wide. The rabies genome encodes 5 proteins: nucleoprotein (N), phosphoprotein (P), protein (M), glycoprotein (G), and polymerase (L).

How does the rabies virus move in the body

a) The rabies virus is transmitted to the wound through the bite of another animal.

b) The virus begins its movement from the site of the bite to the brain by moving inside the nerves, during which time the animal or infected person does not appear ill. The time between the bite and the onset of symptoms is called the incubation period, and it can last from weeks to months.

c) The rabies virus reaches through the nerves to the spinal cord and brain, and when the virus reaches the brain, it multiplies rapidly and travels to the salivary glands.

d) The patient begins to show signs of illness, and usually, the appearance of symptoms means that the patient will die.

How did scientists fight the dog with chicken heads

In March 1967, an epidemic of rabies transmitted by red foxes reached Switzerland. The epidemic was a big problem, so, something had to be done about the foxes.

But the usual methods of poisoning, imprisonment, and shooting did not work. The alternative was to vaccinate them, according to a report in "The Atlantic" magazine.

On October 17, 1978, veterinarian Franz Steck conducted an experiment, spreading the dog vaccine in a real field experiment, by spreading more than 4,050 chicken heads containing the vaccine along the eastern shore of Lake Geneva.

The heads also contained a chemical mark - tetracycline - that would later be found in the teeth and bones of foxes that were shot by hunters.

When it became clear that the foxes were eating the bait, the initiative gained more attention, money, and effort.

The team spread more dog-vaccinated chicken heads, mostly by dumping them on roadsides and driveways. For more remote areas, they used helicopters. From 1979 to 1984, chicken heads were dropping off in the countryside.

The program was successful. Over 4 years, the team spread about 52,000 baits, and wherever the chicken heads fell, the rabies was gone.

In 1983, Germany began its vaccination efforts. By the mid-1990s, 16 European countries participated. New and more effective vaccines have been developed. Airplanes are becoming more common.

Later, tablets of fish or fat, which were produced in large quantities, were used instead of chicken heads.

This succeeded in lowering the rabid fox counter by 90% within a decade.

Switzerland, the country where this strategy began, saw an increase in foxhound cases in the 1990s due to an increase in fox populations.

But they were able to overcome it by doubling the density of baits and specifically targeting fox dens to vaccinate newborn cubs.

By 1996, it was rabies-free. By that time, Switzerland had published 2.8 million grafts in the country, and Europe as a whole had published about 74 million grafts.

Quick Tips for Dealing with Rabies Risk

You must go to the emergency immediately after being bitten - or licked by the animal for the mouth, eye, or wound - and there the doctor will immediately begin to give the victim a dog vaccine, which usually lasts up to two weeks, and is the only way to save the injured from death.

It is also necessary to go to the emergency department if a person suspects that he has been bitten without knowing, or a family member has been bitten or licked, or a person who is incapable of expression, such as infants, disabled people, the elderly or mentally ill, has been bitten, licked or infected.

They cannot explain what happened to them or complain about what they contracted rabies without knowing or passing it on to anyone, which leads to their death. Therefore, they must be carefully monitored, followed up, and taken to the emergency room when there is any doubt that they have been exposed to the deadly virus.

Prevention of rabies

1- Protect your home from bats, close windows, and repair small cracks.

2- Pay attention to people who cannot express themselves, such as infants and the elderly, the helpless, and the handicapped.

3- Protect your family members, including adults and children who can communicate and express, and infants, the helpless, and the disabled who cannot express what is wrong with them.

4- If you suspect any family member has been bitten, licked, or infected, take them directly to the emergency clinic.

5- If you wake up in the morning and find a bat in the room, consider that it has bitten you and go straight to the emergency clinic, and this applies to all family members even if they do not complain or say they were bitten. Do not be complacent, the disease is fatal.

6- Stay away from wild animals and stray dogs, as stray dogs infected with a dog, are usually very aggressive and attack humans, or friendly and approach them, and in both cases, they approach humans, and it is believed that this is one of the mechanisms by which the virus changes the behavior of its victim to enhance its chances of transmission to other victims, As stray dogs and wild animals are usually afraid of people and stay away from them.

7- If you have a pet at home, you must follow specific instructions to protect it and protect yourself, by giving it the dog vaccine and keeping it indoors in a closed place so that it is not bitten by other animals.

8- If you will be traveling to areas where there is a high risk of rabies, consult your doctor about your rabies vaccination before traveling.

Key facts about rabies

Rabies and its effect on human health
Source: World Health Organization

Source: Atlantic + national geographic + Agencies + websites

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