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Eng Course- Rabies and Rabies-Related Lyssaviruses- Download Free PDF


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Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS) of
mammals and has an extremely high case fatality rate. Once the clinical signs
develop, there are very few survivors. Vaccines can protect pets, as well as people
exposed to these animals, but the maintenance of rabies viruses in wildlife
complicates control. In humans, rabies can be prevented by administering anti-rabies
antibodies and a series of vaccinations, provided exposure is recognized before the
symptoms appear. However, people in impoverished countries do not always have
access to effective post-exposure prophylaxis. Due to this and other factors, such as
inadequate levels of vaccination in dogs and cats, the annual incidence of human
rabies is estimated to be 40,000 or more cases, worldwide. A few cases occur even in
nations with good medical care, typically in people who did not realize they were
exposed. Human vaccines are also available, and provide some protection to people
who are regularly exposed to the virus, but do not entirely eliminate the need for postexposure prophylaxis.
Other lyssaviruses, closely related to rabies virus, circulate among bats in Europe,
Asia, Australia and Africa. These viruses can cause an illness identical to rabies in
people and domesticated animals. Rabies vaccines and post-exposure prophylaxis are
thought to be protective against some of these viruses, but not others. Rabies-related
lyssaviruses can be found even in countries classified as free of rabies virus.
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