sorry i don't know if it is correct to post my question here, but i didn't find another proper one.
i got a mild bite in my hand from a pet dog in one of my teachers' house, about ~~eh~~10 years ago. it didn't bleed but hurt, seemed to had a very little scratch on the skin, and i saw saliva on my hand. since the time is so long, i can't remember more about this incident, either the dog's health situation.
so should i worry about rabies? i hear the incubation period can be many years, is it true?
No, you have nothing at all to worry about from this bite. While rabies CAN take a while to incubate, the average incubation period is 2 to 3 months. In EXTREMELY rare cases it has manifested after almost a year, but as I said, these cases are EXTREMELY rare. If 10 years or more has passed you have ZERO chance of having contracted rabies from the dog.
If you were to come into contact with a rabid animal, you don't necessarily have to be bitten to get rabies. The rabies virus can enter your body through any mucous membrane as well as through a bite.
One of the symptoms that an animal is rabid is copious amounts of foamy drool coming from its mouth. this is because rabies paralyzes the muscles that are responsible for swallowing, so any saliva that is produced by the animal cannot be swallowed, therefore it basically just collects in the mouth with nowhere to go. If the rabid animal tosses its head, if some of the foamy spit should fly from its mouth and land on you, if, for example, it hits you in the eye, the virus can enter your body through the mucous membranes around your eye. If anything like this were ever to happen, the safest thing to do would be to report to the local hospital, tell them what happened, and begin the series of prophylactic shots to prevent the virus from taking hold in your body.
Your chances of getting rabies from someone's pet are extremely small, your chances of running into a wild animal with rabies are much greater. Some things to watch out for are wild animals that seem to be uncharacteristically tame. By the same token, pet animals who suddenly act afraid of humans or who suddenly act uncharacteristically shy or scared should be suspect. Noctournal animals (raccoons, bats, possums, etc.) who are out wandering around during the daylight hours should be avoided at all costs. If you ever happen to see a noctournal animal wandering around during daylight hours, call your local animal control immediately so that they can intervene. Animals that suddenly begin to eat non-food items should be suspect. Animals that exhibit signs of any type of paralysis should be suspect (unless, of course, you know the animal and it has had an injury that has left it partially paralyzed).
If a human comes into contact with the rabies virus, injection of rabies immune globulin and an injection of rabies vaccine is recommended within 48 hours of exposure. According to the protocol set forth by the CDC in 2010, they recommend follow-up rabies vaccines on the third, seventh and fourteenth day following exposure. This protocol is for people who have never received a rabies vaccination. In people who HAVE received a rabies vaccination prior to exposure (ie, veterinarians, veterinary students) only two follow-up vaccinations are necessary. In adults and older children, the vaccines are given in the deltoid region. In young children the vaccine is given in the outer thigh. The vaccine is never recommended to be given in the gluteal region.
It's definitely best to avoid all wild animals if there is any doubt in your mind. I see that you live in China, and in the last 5 to 10 years there has been a significant rise in the reported cases of rabid animals in China.
Something that I neglected to mention in my other posts is that the incubation period SEEMS to coincide with where the bite is on the body. Bites on the lower torso and lower extremities seem to take longer to produce physical symptoms of the disease than bites on the upper torso, and bites to the head have the shortest times of all before the manifestation of physical symptoms. Since rabies is a virus that attacks the central nervous system, the distance of the bite from the brain seems to make a difference.
As I said, if you have any doubt in your mind at all, simply avoid any suspect animals if at all possible. Only mammals can carry the virus. Reptiles and birds cannot carry it.
thx again Mrs Ghilly,
"If the rabid animal tosses its head, if some of the foamy spit should fly from its mouth and land on you, if, for example, it hits you in the eye, the virus can enter your body through the mucous membranes around your eye. " I'm a little afraid of this incident, cause if it happens and I don't take care of that, the risk is just ignored ! ...maybe I worry too much and my anxiety is some meaningless?
Before I say this I want you to know that I would never make light of your fear in any way, however the chances of spit from an infected animal flying and hitting you are so remote that, while it pays to be vigilant at all times in everything you do just for safety's sake, the average person has almost no chance of ever being put into this situation. The people who would possibly face a situation such as this are people who work with wildlife for a living, animal control officers, veterinarians, veterinary students, etc. A farmer might have a chance of running into a sick animal from time to time on their property. But the average suburban or urban citizen probably stands a better chance of winning the millionaire lottery than of having spit from a rabid animal hit them. So PLEASE don't worry about that. If you worry too much about something that has such a small chance of happening you will waste much of your life worrying for nothing and that is no way to live. Life is too short! Enjoy yourself!
thank u, Mrs Ghilly, you told me you would never make light of my fear, but in fact I relax a lot now.
life is to enjoy, not to worry and suffer, so it's really stupied and tired to think about things like "will the lightning hit me" all day along, right ?
very nice talking to you :)
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