What are the 5 common myths about Rabies?

Tuesday September 15, 2020 at 6:01 pm

Rabies is a deadly infection that spreads through a virus and is prominent for many years. A large number of children die across the world due to this disease. It is also entirely preventable. There are many myths and tales relevant to this disease, and today we are disclosing the top 5 myths and the fact behind it. What are risks associated with Rabies, and what you can do to save yourself are also stated here? 

5 common myths about Rabies


  • The only medium of Rabies Transmission is through animal bites


Although the primary source of Rabies transmission is indeed animals, the latter part is incorrect. The saliva of an infected animal can transfer this virus to humans in numerous forms. Animal bites are a common cause for this transmission as their saliva can reach humans through mucus or wound membranes. Eyes, nose, and mouth are the common organs through which the saliva travels. Hence, if any animal having Rabies even scratches or licks you, there are high chances of virus transmission. 

Dogs are a primary source of this infection globally as their bites are more evident to humans than any other species. Other animals of canine species which are a carrier of Rabies include fox, wolves, and coyotes. Several factors contribute to the spread of this disease, such as low vaccination rates, limitations in veterinary care, the popularity of dogs as pets, and the increasing population of this canine. 


  • An animal bite is easy to figure out


This is where most people create assumptions that lead to the spread of this disease. Rabies is also a significant virus transmitted by bats that most people are not aware of. Especially in the United States and Canada, scratches or bites by bats are highly noticeable that have no apparent wounds or punctures. In most countries, bats spread Rabies, and their scratches go undetected and hence untreated. 

People fail to understand that how they fell prey to Rabies when there was no prominent animal bite. But any type of contact with animals that leave slightest scars can be dangerous. This is why kids are an easy target for Rabies as most of the time, and they are unable to explain the minor contact they had with such infected animals. Hence, any negligence can result in heavy damages. 


  • Animals having Rabies appear unwell


The next big myth about Rabies is infected animals look unwell and vulnerable, and the healthy ones are safe to play with. Prominent symptoms of animals having Rabies are aggressive behavior and irritable moods. However, even the canines who seem perfectly healthy might infect you with this virus as even they have recently got it. While traveling to countries where Rabies is evident amongst canines, ensure a safe distance to biting mammals such as dogs and monkeys. 

Even the friendly animals, children must keep a safe distance as they can easily target this virus. Feeding, playing, and petting such animals can be a high-risk action. In case your child gets bitten by any such animal, use soap and disinfectants to rinse their hands thoroughly and seek immediate medical attention. 


  • Rabies infection would show up symptoms shortly


Do you know that Rabies infection can take several days, weeks, and even months to appear in humans? This itself is proof that it gives no early alarm to get it treated. Its incubation period can sometimes also last up to a year. The time of symptoms also depends on the area where you were bitten like the leg, face, or arm. Such kind of Rabies can be dreadful if you do not take some early treatment and measures. Rabies can become fatal if the timely diagnosis and treatment are not available for the infected person. Especially in kids, the risk rate is immensely high. 


  • You can take Rabies vaccination even after the bite


Rabies vaccines come with multiple vaccines, and you must take them before any potential exposure to such infected canines. After the animal has bitten you, there is no point in taking this vaccine. There are 3 pre-exposure and 2 post-exposure vaccines that determine the protection against this horrific disease. WHO (World Health Organization) has set norms for the dosage and number of Rabies vaccination that ensure protection against such infected animal bites. 

Travelers must take Rabies Vaccination if they are:

  • Visiting the Rabies endemic regions for a prolonged stay and work assignments
  • Indulge in any activity with the animals
  • Going to remote locations where medical care and hygiene are not up to the mark
  • Traveling to forest or hilly areas and are prone to wildlife exposure. 
  1. Can I get Rabies if I sit at the same place where animals have been dwelling? 
  2. No, it does not spread through intact skin at all. 
  3. Can I get Rabies through exposure to animal blood, feces, and urine? 
  4. No, you do not have to worry about that at all. It cannot transfer through any such indirect mediums.


Remember that Rabies cannot spread until an animal directly penetrates your skin through bites or scratches. Or if their saliva enters your sensory organs. Animals are the best companions, and their love is unconditional. They are harmless when you take all precautionary measures for their hygiene and ensure regular vaccine shots as per their vets’ guidance. There is no need to panic or create chaos when animals are around you. Maintaining safe distance with wild animals, avoiding direct contact, and staying medically alert are a few things that can help with the Rabies fear. And please do not blindly follow myths without confirming the facts behind it!

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