Hi im extremely worry and will appreciate an answer to put my mind at risk. I wanted to know if I could get rabbies from using a spoon which was licked few minutes prior by a dog that has been acting strangely lately. I was wondering if it was something for me to worry about since i read somewhere that rabies virus doesnt survive well outside the body but few minutes (3 minutes approximately) is a good enuff indicator to believe that the virus has died?
Here's the information from the 30 page Rabies Resource Manual:
It is unlikely for transmission, but if the saliva had not dried on the spoon (ie it was still wet) and the dog actually has rabies, it is possible.
D. Modes of Transmission
Rabies is spread via the virus-laden saliva of an infected animal through a bite or saliva contact with mucous membranes or a fresh break in the skin. Breaks in the skin or mucous membrane exposure to nervous tissue (brain, spinal cord) of an infected animal also pose a transmission threat. Bites of some animals, such as bats, can inflict injury so minor that it goes undetected. Airborne spread (for example, in a cave with many bats, or in a laboratory through rabies virus or specimens) has occurred. Rabies is not transmitted through contact with blood, urine, skunk spray, or feces of an infected animal.
Person-to-person spread has been documented after organs and corneas were transplanted from rabies infected individuals. Two nonlaboratory-confirmed cases of person-to-person rabies transmission in Ethiopia have been described. The reported route of exposure in both cases was direct saliva contact (a bite and a kiss).
E. Incubation period
Depending on the animal, the incubation period may vary from a few weeks to a few years, but is typically 1 - 3 months. Some animals, such as dogs and cats, have been studied extensively. The incubation period of their disease is commonly three to five weeks.
The incubation period is usually 3 - 8 weeks, but can rarely range from as few as 9 days (although 9-day incubation periods have not been documented in the U.S. with native strains) to as many as 7 years. Less than 1 percent of human cases have an incubation period longer than 6 months. The incubation period is typically related to the site of exposure; e.g., the incubation period is usually shorter if the virus is inoculated closer to the central nervous system or in a highly innervated area. The incubation period also depends on exposure severity (more virus results in a shorter incubation period) and the age of the exposed person (younger age generally results in a shorter incubation period).
F. Period of Communicability or Infectious Period
Animals are not infectious until virus is present in their saliva, which happens around the time of clinical onset of illness. Dogs, cats and ferrets may shed virus in their saliva for 3 – 7 days before the onset of clinical signs, and continue to shed virus until death. The shedding/communicability period for most wild animals has not been determined, although skunks may shed virus up to 18 days before death. Carcasses of animals with rabies may contain infectious virus, depending on temperature and environmental conditions. Rabies virus may persist in a frozen carcass for many weeks; drying and sunlight rapidly deactivate rabies virus. Dried saliva does not contain live rabies virus.
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