Over the weekend a video got spread across social media channels about a man who was barking like a dog while being recorded by a bystander who may be the doctor after obtaining permission from the parent of the affected person, according to the managing health worker, this person had been bitten by a dog about 2 weeks before he started barking and was said to have reportedly received his vaccine after been bitten

Here is the video:

The question still remains, why was he barking? Is there any truth to this myth that people with rabies will bark like dogs?

If yes, why was he barking?

If the answer is no, then what was he doing? was it intentional, was the video real or fake?

The answer lies in understanding what Rabies is first of all and then coming back to answer these questions

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a disease caused by a virus from the genus known as Lyssavirus, the rabies virus belongs to this group, there are about 10 other viruses within the same genus, but they rarely cause disease among humans, an example is the Mokola virus

This virus is bullet shaped and is transmitted in the saliva of an infected animal which gets to the host via a bite typically, or even when they lick an open sore on the host

When an infected dog bites a human being, the virus enters the peripheral nerves and starts to make its way into the CNS, that is the brain and the spinal cord. The length of time it takes for this to happen depends on the distance of the bite from the CNS and the amount of virus, for example, a bit on the hands may take a shorter time to reach the CNS than a bite on the feet.

Dogs are not the only animals that can be infected with Rabies, even cats can be rabid, bat’s, raccoons, skunks. After a person is bitten, the virus starts to incubate in them, during this period they may not show any symptoms at all Normally, it is usually between 20-90 days. there are rare cases of incubation for close to 19 years that the person who was bitten had forgotten everything about the bite

Once it is confirmed that a person has rabies, the chances of survival are slim and they may not likely survive it.

Symptoms of Rabies

They may start to itch around the area they were bitten or have pain, this is usually a very positive sign that a person may have Rabies, this occurs in about 50% of people with rabies then, they may develop symptoms like:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia

Once it enters the brain, they can have 2 forms,

  • Furious Rabies
  • Paralytic Rabies

The furious ones will have agitation, hyperactivity, restlessness, thrashing about, biting, confusion, or hallucinations and may even bark like a dog, this barking, however, is most likely caused by the spasms of the laryngeal muscles, this can sound very similar to barking

The other form called the paralysing form or dumb rabies is when these patients become paralysed from the onset, and fever and headache will be seen in these patients. Can occur in 20% of people with Rabies

The affected person, whether furious or paralysed may enter a coma within 10days without intensive care and support, their breathing stops and they die.

How to Prevent Rabies

Rabies is 100% preventable in humans

Vaccinate your animals regularly

Take note of stray animals in your locality

If you get bitten, run the wound under water immediately and go to the hospital

You’ll be given a Rabies vaccine immediately and also a tetanus vaccine

 

How to recognize rabies in an animal:

Adisa Adedapo also has this to say:

For pet lovers and owners, there are still some few things to note: That dog you cuddle, snuggle and fondle with might be unsafe.

Animals who have rabies secrete large amounts of virus in their saliva, the disease passes to dogs through a bite from an infected animal.  It can also be transmitted through a scratch or when infected saliva makes contact with mucous membranes or an open, fresh wound. The risk runs highest if your dog or pet is exposed to wild animals. The most common carriers of the rabies virus in this country are bats, our very own local dogs,  (yes the ones we refer to as the ekuke type) and/or dogs who are carriers, stray cats. Some states have higher incidences with rabies cases, especially in the northern part of the country and middle belts. At first, a dog who’s become infected with the virus may show extreme behavioural changes such as restlessness or apprehension, exhibited as compounded by aggression. Friendly dogs may become irritable, while normally excitable animals may become more docile. ( some sort of moods swings)
A dog may bite or snap at any form of stimulus, attacking other animals, humans and even inanimate objects. (this part is worthy of noting) They may constantly lick, bite and chew at the site where they were bitten. As the virus progresses, an infected dog may become hypersensitive to touch, light and sound, most of all water ( good ‘ole water).
They may eat unusual things and hide in dark places. Paralysis of the throat and jaw muscles may follow, resulting in the well-known symptom of foaming at the mouth. Disorientation, incoordination and staggering may occur, caused by paralysis of the hind legs. Other classic signs of rabies include loss of appetite, weakness, seizures and sudden death.
The virus usually incubates from 2- 8 weeks before signs are noticed. It is worth knowing that transmission of the virus through saliva can happen as early as ten days before symptoms even start showing on your pets. Unvaccinated dogs who are allowed to roam outdoors without supervision are most at risk for infection. They’re exposed to wild animals and have a greater chance of fighting with infected or carrier stray dogs or cats. Keeping your dog up to date with vaccinations is not only essential to the prevention of your dog but of public health significance.  Vaccinating your pet not only protects him from getting rabies, but it also protects him if he bites someone.  Dogs who have bitten humans are required to be confined for at least 10 days to see if rabies develops, and if the animal’s vaccination records are not current, a lengthy quarantine or even euthanasia may be mandated. Check with your veterinarian about the right vaccine and vaccination schedule for your dog.  In many areas of the country, it’s advised that all domestic dogs and cats are vaccinated after the age of three months and a booster given at 12 months while subsequently taking the shot once a year. Truly truly, rabies dey show for face #preventionisbetter
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