Rabies is a zoonotic disease (a disease that is transmitted from animals to humans), caused by the rabies virus, of the Lyssavirus genus, within the family Rhabdoviridae. Domestic dogs are the most common reservoir of the virus, with more than 99% of human deaths caused by dog-mediated rabies.

The virus is transmitted in the saliva of rabid animals and generally enters the body via infiltration of virus-laden saliva from a rabid animal into a wound (e.g. scratches), or by direct exposure of mucosal surfaces to saliva from an infected animal (e.g. bites). The virus cannot infiltrate intact skin. Once the virus reaches the brain, it further replicates, resulting in the presentation of clinical signs from the patient. There are two clinical manifestations of rabies – furious (classical or encephalitic) and paralytic. Furious rabies is the most common form of human rabies, accounting for approximately 80% of cases.

Dog rabies potentially threatens over 3.3 billion people in Asia and Africa. People most at risk live in rural areas where human vaccines and immunoglobulin are not readily available or accessible. Poor people are at a higher risk.

Rabies occurs in more than 150 countries and territories. Worldwide, more than 55 000 people die of rabies every year. More than 95% of human deaths occur in Asia and Africa. Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is nearly always fatal. 40% of people who are bitten by suspect rabid animals are children under 15 years of age. Dogs are the source of 99% of human rabies deaths.

Wound cleansing and immunization within a few hours after contact with a suspect rabid animal can prevent the onset of rabies and death. Every year, more than 15 million people worldwide receive a post-exposure preventive regimen to avert the disease – this is estimated to prevent 327 000 rabies deaths annually. Rabies is present on all most all continents, but more than 95% of human deaths occur in Asia and Africa. More than 99% of all human deaths from rabies occur in the developing world. Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is nearly always fatal.

  • Pain areas: in the muscles
  • Whole body: dizziness, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, or malaise
  • Psychological: delirium, fear, or hallucination
  • Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting
  • Muscular: muscle spasms or paralysis with weak muscles
  • Sensory: pins and needles or sensitivity to light
  • Behavioural: aggression or irritability
  • Also common: anxiety, brain death, coma, difficulty swallowing, dilated pupil, drooling, excess salivation, headache, mental confusion, neck stiffness, or seizures

The person is seriously injured in an animal attack.

  1. Stop Bleeding
  • Apply sustained pressure for several minutes.
  1. Clean Wound
  • Wash with clean water and gentle soap for 15 minutes.
  1. Gather Information about Animal
  • Notify the local health department or animal control about the animal’s possible whereabouts.
  • If the animal is a pet, get the owner’s contact information.
  1. See a Health Care Provider Immediately
  • Do not wait for symptoms to appear.
  • If possible, bring information about the animal.
  • If the person was in an enclosed area with a bat, see a care provider whether or not there is a bite wound. The person may have been bitten and not know it.

There is a Vaccine and also Anti Rabies Serum (ARS) for the Rabies disease. But, Anti Rabies Vaccine alone may not save lives. W.H.O recommends ARS (Anti Rabies Serum) with ARV (Anti Rabies Vaccine) in all category III & immune-compromised category II patients. Anti-Rabies Serum is prepared from Human origin and Equine origin.

Equine Rabies Immunoglobulin (ERIG) is obtained from the blood plasma of healthy equines that have been immunized against rabies by vaccination.

Cheaper and safe (purified pepsin digested horse serum) equine immunoglobulin (ERIG) is available Purification techniques can be used to reduce the risk of sensitization to ERIG.

The objective is to maximize the specific activity and to minimize the allergenic substances in the product.

*Effective treatment of Rabies is critically dependent on the availability of good-quality antisera-W.H.O-2007