The rabies virus is a very interesting yet deadly virus, since it can hide in a person or animal for weeks or even years before any signs begin to surface. Some common signs are foaming of the mouth, since the virus tends to make saliva foam. Also, the virus is transmitted from a cut or wound from an infescted animal, so it’s very important to get any bite treated.
Furthermore, the virus travels along the spinal cord up to the brain, where it begins to replicate itself. It is at this stage when an animal will start to act “crazy,” as the virus takes over the brain. This stage is also fatal to the animal.
Rabies causes inflammation of the brain, which is also known as encephalitis. The rabies virus travels to the brain by following the peripheral nerves to the Central Nervous System. Once inside the Central Nervous System the virus replicates and hinders the performance of this system, from here the virus travels to various parts of the body including the salivary glands where it can then be passed onto another host.
In recent years canine rabies has been practically eliminated in North America and Europe due to extensive and often mandatory vaccination requirements. However it is still a huge problem in countries like Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia.
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