Incubation of Rabies
Incubation of Rabies
The incubation period for rabies can be from 10 days to 1 year, but it is usually 1 to 2 months.
After symptoms of rabies begin, chances of survival are poor. Without life support, death may occur within 4 to 20 days.
Rabies is a contagious infection caused by a virus. It is spread in the saliva of infected animals and usually infects humans through an animal bite or scratch. Rarely, humans can also catch rabies when their mucous membranes (moist skin surfaces, like gums or inner eyelids) or an area of broken skin (cut or scrape) touches saliva from an infected animal.
Home Treatment for Rabies
If your child is bitten by an animal, wash the bite area with soap and water for 10 minutes and cover the bite with a clean bandage. Call your doctor or a nearby hospital’s emergency room and ask for advice. Also call local animal–control authorities to help find the animal which caused the bite – the animal may need to be detained and observed for signs of rabies. If your child has been recently bitten by an animal and has any of the symptoms of rabies, she must be seen by a doctor immediately. Anyone with a rabies infection must be treated in a hospital.
Professional Treatment for Rabies
If your child is bitten by an animal, her doctor will clean the wound thoroughly and check that her tetanus immunizations are up–to–date. Your child may need a tetanus booster. Your child’s doctor may decide to begin treating your child to prevent rabies. This decision is usually based on the circumstances of the bite (provoked or unprovoked), the type of animal (species, wild or domestic), animal’s health history (vaccinated or not), and the recommendations of local health authorities. Rabies prevention no longer means a series of painful injections in the abdomen. If your child’s doctor decides to begin the anti–rabies immunization, it will involve a series of intramuscular (into a muscle) injections of human diploid cell vaccine and human rabies immune globulin. Part of rabies human immunoglobulin is usually injected near the bite area. Persons who already show signs and symptoms of rabies infection absolutely need to be treated in a hospital. There they will have tests to check for rabies infection. If they do have rabies, they will need specialized life–support equipment to help them survive.
When To Call Your Pediatrician
Call your child’s doctor immediately if your child has any of the signs and symptoms of rabies, especially if the child has recently been bitten by an animal. Call your child’s doctor whenever your child is bitten by an animal. If your child has been exposed to an animal that might have rabies, but the child is too young to be able to describe the extent of their contact with that animal, call your child’s doctor to ask advice. Also, if your child has been exposed to bats, even without being bitten, call your child’s doctor. Your child should receive rabies treatment to prevent infection. You should also call your child’s doctor if you are planning to travel abroad and might come into contact with animals that are infected with rabies, particularly if you are traveling to an area where you might not have access to health care.