Rabies is a life-threatening infection that damages the brain and nerves. Most commonly it develops after a rabid animal bites someone, but it can also be passed on through bites from other creatures. Once symptoms appear the chance of the patient surviving is remote. The initial symptoms include headaches and fever and within a few days the classic signs of rabies appear – the patient starts to froth at the mouth, hallucinate and behave aggressively. If they receive the anti-rabies vaccine immediately after the bite, they stand a good chance of recovering. It is also possible to get vaccinated against rabies. Anyone who needs to travel to one of the Asian or African countries where rabies is rife they should get vaccinated before their journey. However, even if they are vaccinated they should make every effort to avoid contact with possibly infected animals, and if they get bitten go immediately to the nearest doctor or hospital.
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