A dangerous condition called rabies almost always ends in death. The central nervous system is affected by the rabies virus. Its symptoms, which precede coma and death, can appear days to years after exposure and include delirium (confusion), strange behavior, hallucinations, hydrophobia (fear of water), and insomnia. People who come into contact with an infected animal’s saliva or neural tissue, such as through a bite or scratch, and who do not take the necessary medical care, such as rabies vaccination, are at risk of contracting rabies. To prevent rabies if an exposure occurs, it is advised that those people at a higher risk for rabies exposures, such as those who work with potentially infected animals, obtain the vaccine. You are more likely to become infected with the rabies virus:
- On days 0 and 7, you should receive two doses of the rabies vaccine.
- You can be advised to undergo one or more blood tests or get a booster dosage within three years of the initial two doses, depending on your level of risk. You can get further information from your healthcare practitioner.
- where the exposure site is located(the distance from the brain)
- the type of rabies virus, and
- any existing immunity.