Deborah Duncan, Jacqui Boulton
Nurse Prescribing, Vol. 10, Iss. 4, 13 Apr 2012, pp 179 - 183
Rabies is a disease that most of us have heard of because of the acute unusual symptoms, but few have had to treat. It is also a notifiable disease under the Public Health Act 2008. The rabies virus is a part of the Rhabdovirdae family of viruses. Its specific genus is that of the Lyssavirus and is one of the few that is symptomatic in humans. Rabies is a viral disease that affects mainly warm-blooded animals. Rabies has no cure and its progress mimics several other acute infections, therefore it is important that a clinician seeing a patient with acute symptoms find out, from the patient or a relative, if he/she has travelled to a high risk area, if they have been exposed to animals over the course of their work, and if they have been bitten by any animal. This article provides a brief overview of rabies and its symptoms, its vaccine, and issues to consider when advising a person who is going to travel to remote overseas areas.
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