Rabies Lab Report

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Rabies is a deadly infection of the central nervous system, which is estimated to kill almost 55,000 people worldwide each year. (Yousaf et al.) Rabies is caused by the virus Neurotropic lyssavirus, a member of the Rhabdovirus family. The virus is found in the salivary glands, as well as the central nervous system of infected warm-blooded animals, including humans. Once infected, rabies causes paralysis, followed by death. It is estimated that 99% of human deaths due to rabies are the result of dog bites. Because domestic dogs in the U.S. are commonly vaccinated, cases are much rarer than in other countries. By following post-exposure techniques to prevent infection, 327,000 cases of this disease could be avoided annually. (TKH
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Some lab results that may be indicative of a rabies infection include elevated white blood cell count, elevated glucose levels in the urine, and abnormal cells in the cerebrospinal fluid. (TKH Virology Notes) Post-mortem lab tests from tissue of the cranium can confirm the rabies diagnoses. (Yousef et al.)
Individuals, such as veterinarians and animal handlers, who are at a higher risk of exposure to infected animals, should be vaccinated. This involves a first dose, another dose one week after the first, and a third dose either twenty-one or twenty-eight days after the first. These people with repeated exposure will also be given booster shots when needed. After a bite occurs, the person should wash the wound with soap and water thoroughly. He or she must then see a doctor immediately for prophylactic treatment, which involves four doses of the rabies vaccine and one dose of rabies immune globulin. The first should be given as soon as possible after exposure and additional doses should be given three, seven, and fourteen days after the first. The rabies immune globin will be administered with the first dose of the vaccine. (Rabies VIS) The vaccine will stimulate the person’s immune system to produce the antibodies capable of neutralizing the virus. The immune globulin contains antibodies from the blood of donors who have had the rabies vaccine. This treatment must be done before latent symptoms are present. After symptoms, palliative treatment is the only option. Death is inevitable. (Yousef et
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