• Robert E. Shope


Rabies is an acute central nervous system (CNS) disease of man and domestic and wild animals that usually results in death. The disease follows infection with a virus that is bullet-shaped, has an envelope, and contains single-stranded RNA. In the classic pathogenesis, the virus gains entry by the bite of a rabid animal, usually a dog or cat but also a wild animal such as a bat, wolf, fox, skunk, raccoon, meerkat, or coyote. During an incubation period of from days to several months, the virus is believed to multiply in the muscle(42) at the site of entry and then to travel centripetally via nerves to the ganglia and to the CNS. Once the CNS is infected, overt disease appears in the form of fever, acute excitation, convulsions, excess lacrimation and salivation, insomnia, anxiety, difficulty in swallowing, and sometimes maniacal behavior. A form of the disease called “dumb rabies” is characterized by progressive lassitude, coma, and death. There is no cure for rabies, but prevention by cleansing of the wound, vaccination, and immune serum therapy is effective in many cases.


Rabies Virus Rabies Vaccine Human Rabies Yellow Mongoose Rabies Infection 
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Suggested Reading

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Shope
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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