Upon entry into the body, lyssaviruses or rabies virus would have an incubation period; this isthe time it takes for the virus to grow and cause symptoms. The incubation period of the rabies virus usually lasts for two weeks to three months. Whether or not there is a long incubation period depends on which body part was bitten and infected with the rabies virus. The closer to the brain the bite is, the sooner the symptoms develop. For example, rabies bites on the head, neck, or face have a shorter incubation period than bites that occur in the legs or arms.
In rare cases, the virus incubation period of rabies can take place very quickly or very slowly, i.e. four days up to more than a year.If infected with the rabies virus, a person generally still has the possibility to recover if immediate treatment is done in the incubation period. But if the virus already passed the incubation period and symptoms of the condition have arisen,it would be difficult to treat rabies.
When it reaches the stage of rabies symptoms, usually the symptoms seem to be minor. But in a short time, these symptoms will show their seriousness. The early symptoms of rabies are often difficult to identify and sometimes are even regarded as not being dangerous. The early symptoms of rabies include:
- The body feels very tired
- The body feels cold
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty falling asleep or insomnia
- Pain and tingling in the affected area
After the initial symptoms, the next symptoms will look worse. These usually occur within 2-10 days. In 80 percent of cases, people with rabies will:
- Experience hallucinations such as seeing or hearing things that are not real
- Be hyperactive
- Behave aggressively (e.g. thrashing and raged for no apparent reason)
- Often look nervous and have frequent tantrums
- Have high fever
- Always be drooling (hypersalivation)
- Have sustained erections in male patients with rabies
- Experience excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).
- Have hairs on the skin are seen standing
- Have delusions or believe in something that is not real
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