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Rabies is identified as a zoonotic disease due to the fact that it can be passed to humans as well as other animals. It is commonly known as the disease that causes the foaming at the mouth. rabies is actually a viral infection and extremely dangerous and almost certainly fatal in every animal/ human it infects.
As it is virus and viruses can only survive inside a cell, it has to go through a process that enables it to get to a new cell to live in.
It is transferred to others through saliva containing the rabies, receiving a bite from an infected animal or the rabies virus somehow getting transferred into an open wound. The disease attacks the spinal cord and the brain. Once an animal contracts the disease it moves straight to the spinal cord by using afferent nerves. Once the rabies has managed to attack the spine, it rapidly makes its way to the brain and as soon as it reaches the brain the virus starts to multiply.
However as mentioned before a virus needs to live inside a cell so it multiplies inside the nerve cells in the brain. The rabies virus is inside the cells meaning it will kill one every time it inhabits one. After killing a lot of cells found in the brain the virus will use the PNS(peripheral nervous system) once more but this time using the efferent nerves. It uses these nerves to move itself to the salivary glands.
Once it arrives in these glands, the glands will secrete it into the saliva of the animal or the person affected. Once in the saliva, it is more easily and quickly spread in animals to the rest of the body by licking other parts of the body.
There is more than one type of rabies, however there are a few that are more easily noticed. These are:
These two types of rabies symptoms are noticed when the disease has first started to inhabit the body.
When it first starts to show in animals, they can become anorexic, lethargic,
Rabies is a rapid progressing virus and within a matter of days or weeks extremely dangerous symptoms occur including: seizures, problems with breathing, drooling (excessive saliva), foaming at the mouth, muscle and overall weakness, balance issues, aggression, trouble swallowing (food, water, saliva), cerebral dysfunction (electrical anomalies in the brain caused by damage in the CNS), paralysis and eventually death if left too late to treat.
Animals: vaccinations: these are one of the most important ways of protecting animals from rabies.
The vaccine is available to a few animals like: cats, dogs sheep and cows. However small mammals like rabbits and guinea pigs do not have a legally approved vaccine against rabies available to them. This is why it is important to make sure they have secure enclosures they can even be kept inside rather than outside this prevents rabid animals getting into enclosures and contaminating other animals.
Vaccinating pets against rabies is recommended when moving or travelling to another country.
When walking a dog it is also vital that the animal is kept on a long lead or is kept in sight at all times to make sure they do not meet other potential carriers, mainly foxes. Try not to let your dog mix with other unknown dogs too much as they may have recently contracted the disease as they may have not developed symptoms yet or have recently been around a fox and hasn’t been vaccinated.
Annual boosters to keep the immune system topped up. Emergency visits to the vet if your animal has come into contact with an animal you suspect has rabies. humans: pre exposure vaccines: these are vaccines that you can get before becoming exposed to rabies. this vaccine can take up to a month and consists of four injections doses to be fully completed and effective. if someone is not vaccinated and contracts rabies they will need to have the full course of vaccinations like the pre exposure treatment. each vaccine has a different name: d0 d3 d7 d21. if someone is already vaccinated however they will only need to be vaccinated twice using vaccines d0 and d3-7. people with lowered immune system need to have five doses of the vaccines to help give their immune system an extra boost and help them to fight it better. these vaccines are called: d0 d3 d7 d14 and d30. immunoglobin is given at the site of where rabies is contracted as it contains the correct antibodies to keep the infection at by until the vaccination takes effect. travelling: being vaccinated when travelling to a country known for rabies is vital. work: Humans whose career is based on animals should be pre vaccinated including: vets, groomers, wildlife conservationists (being in the wild with animals who aren’t vaccinated).
Boosters are also available to keep the immune system topped up to minimise the risks.
How the immune system responds: the disease takes a while to develop signs meaning that animals can be carrying it for a while before they start to develop. Due to this it means that the rabies could have been multiplying for a matter of weeks.
As it will have been multiplying, it means it will be even stronger than when it first inhabited the host system. Also, rabies has evolved and has become incredibly intelligent can now cause an infection without the immune system becoming aware of it. Normally when a pathogen infects a host the body’s immune system is naturally alerted and begins to develop an antibody. there are two types of cells called defender cells t cells and b cells that help to fight off infections. both are made for different types of germs and will respond to any infection but when a secondary infection takes place the cells are then specialised and only those that are crafted for that particular infection are sent in to disarm harmful pathogen cells. However as rabies is virtually undetectable, the immune system has a delayed response and is therefore unprepared when the infection is at its strongest. the virus also multiplies rapidly making it impossible for the immune system to create an emergency defence. This is why rabies is one the most deadly as it is almost certainly fatal.
A vaccine is the dead/inactive version of the pathogen meaning that it can do no harm to the body but the body manages to identify it as a threat and can make the correct antibodies. This is important because when an animals becomes affected, the vaccines helps to hold off any adverse effects of the disease until they can receive the correct post exposure treatment.
Foot and mouth is a notifiable disease meaning that if an outbreak is surmised it has to be reported to Defra. DEFRA is ·
Foot and mouth is also viral infection much like rabies, however, it is only passed between animals. This viral infection is only passed between animals with cloven hoofs and it is hugely contagious and is massively common in animals kept on farms. This is because is affects cows, pigs, goats and sheep.
As FMD is a virus it can be spread in multiple different ways including: through faeces saliva milk from animals carrying the infection and it is also spread by airborne spreading. Inhaling contaminated breath from additional animals in one area, e.g. a farm is one of the main introductory forms of spreading. Once the virus has taken hold it can also spread further through painful blisters the infection itself causes. These blisters further spread the infection because they contain the FMD Virus it their fluid which when burst they are able to contaminate grounds other animals walk over and graze from.
Indirect contact: this transpires when animals are exposed to infected bedding, food, and water etc. .
Direct Contact: this is a major contributing factor to the spread of the disease and spreads it dramatically. It is where two or more animals touch and one is carrying the infection. Once nother animal become infected it inadvertently creates a chain reaction. This chain reaction, if Snot contained, can soon lead to a whole herd or even farm becoming infected with undoubtedly one of the most feared farm disease.
Although the disease affects all different hoofed animals each animal can display different symptoms.
Here is a breakdown of examples from different hoofed animals:
pigs: sudden squealing when moving. limping with evident pain/lameness.
Hoofs become covered in blisters near the top off the foot, skin and foot may even start to break away causing significant pain and making it open to extra infection but in pigs it is relatively rare.
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