|Description:||Photographed in 2012 by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Veterinary Medical Officer, Ryan M. Wallace, D.V.M., M.P.H., this image depicts an elderly Vietnam woman watching over a young toddler who was interacting with three small dogs on the front porch area of their residence. The importance of this close human/canine interaction is that at the time, fewer than one in three dogs in rural, northern Vietnam were vaccinated for rabies. That year 20 people died of the disease. In 2014, government vaccination campaigns have since achieved 68% vaccination coverage in dogs, and so far there has only been one human death.|
Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the CDC each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.
The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.