First aid for a bite of a rabid animal
When a cat or dog is suitable for a person, many will be touched and want to caress the animal. And if a wild, but small animal (fox, hedgehog) came up, not everyone will think about the possibility of a bite. Such communication can be dangerous to our health, and sometimes it threatens life itself. Act in such cases you need to quickly and efficiently. What is rabies, how can they not get sick, and what if a dog bites you?
First aid for a bite of a rabid animal
Prevention and treatment of rabies is carried out exclusively by the state veterinary service. Do not waste time and do not ask for help in commercial veterinary clinics – from there you should be sent to the state civil service at your place of residence. In the Russian Federation, activities related to rabies prophylaxis are carried out completely free of charge for both people and animals. Rabies is an infectious disease caused by the rabies virus. It is transmitted with saliva when bitten by a sick animal. Then, spreading along the nerve pathways, the virus reaches the salivary glands and nerve cells of the cerebral cortex, causing severe irreversible damage to the central nervous system. In humans, rabies virus infection, if symptoms develop, is almost inevitably fatal within a few days.
The first mention of rabies dates back to 2300 BC. Homer, Aristotle and Democritus wrote about the monstrously dangerous disease that occurs after the bites of a dog or a fox. An accurate description of the symptoms of the disease called “rabies” or “hydrophobia” (hydrophobia) was made by the Roman scientist Olus Cornelius Silsus in the 1st century AD. During the years of the colonization of America, Spanish doctors recorded cases of painful death of soldiers after being bitten by small bats (vampire bats are still the main carriers of rabies in America to this day). That rabies is infected through the saliva of an animal into the blood of a person or another animal, for the first time found out by the German scientist Zinke in 1804. The development of a rabies vaccine is one of the greatest achievements of the great French scientist Louis Pasteur. He established the time sequence for the development of the virus in the body and for the first time received a rabies vaccine. In 1885, with the help of a vaccine, the boy bitten by a rabid dog, Joseph Meister, was first saved. In those days, it was a miracle, because a person bitten by a rabid animal would inevitably die. Grateful Parisians erected a monument to Louis Pasteur during his lifetime precisely for the discovery of the rabies vaccine. In 1903, Italian pathologist Adelchi Negri discovered specific bodies in the brain that are present only in rabies-infected animals. This discovery facilitated the posthumous diagnosis of rabies. This method is today the main method for diagnosing rabies.
How are they infected with rabies?
The greatest likelihood of infection from foxes and stray dogs living outside the city. Also sources of rabies infection are: from wild animals – wolves, foxes, jackals, raccoon dogs, badgers, skunks, bats, rodents; from domestic animals – dogs, cats, horses, pigs, small and cattle. The source of human infection with rabies virus is infected animals (dogs, foxes, wolves, hedgehogs, etc.). The virus enters the human body with a bite, as well as with the saliva of a sick animal on the mucous membranes or damaged skin, and then spreads to the nerve endings, affecting almost the entire nervous system.
Stages and symptoms of rabies
Prodromal stage. It lasts 3-4 days, accompanied by weakness, lethargy, apathy, appetite and sleep disorders.
Stage of arousal. Reactions to any stimuli (light, sounds, water, etc.) are sharply exacerbated.
Paralytic stage. Brain damage occurs, paralysis and death occurs.
The dog bit. What to do?
When bitten by a dog or other animal, a number of urgent measures are necessary. Wash the wound immediately with warm water and soap. It is better to use household soap, it has more alkali, and the virus is inactivated by alkalis. The best way to prevent rabies is to cause heavy bleeding from the wound. A virus that enters the bloodstream is washed out by blood flowing from the wound. If there is serious suspicion of rabies in a bitten animal (aggressive behavior, salivation, rabies, etc.), cut the wound with a knife or blade and squeeze as much blood out of the wound as possible. As soon as possible, contact a trauma center! Even if you were bitten by your own dog, cat or other pet, but you are not sure that the vaccine was given on time, be sure to consult a doctor, and take the animal to a veterinary clinic for examination and vaccination. In the emergency room you are required to offer a course of anti-rabies treatment. Do not be afraid: 40 injections in the stomach have not been done for a long time. First, you will be given a vaccine along with an antiserum so that the antibodies contained in it help to destroy the virus.