What is Rabies?

Rabies is a virus that infects the central nervous system of mammals. If untreated, it causes disease in the brain and, ultimately death. It is transmitted through bite, scratch or even being licked by a rabid animal.


What causes Rabies?

Rabies is caused by the rabies virus. An infected animal will have this virus in their saliva. The saliva has entered their body through broken skin, their eyes, nose or mouth and travels through the nerves to the brain. There, the virus multiplies. Animals most likely to be infected with rabies in the UK include dogs, bats, raccoons, foxes, jackals, cats and mongooses.

Symptoms of Rabies Include:

  • High temperature
  • Headache
  • Feeling anxious/generally unwell
  • Discomfort at site of bite

Advanced rabies:

  • confusion/aggressive behaviour 
  • audio/visual hallucinations 
  • Excessive salivation or frothing at the mouth  
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Difficulty swallowing/breathing Paralysis 

Once symptoms appear, rabies in humans is nearly always fatal.

Who should have the Rabies Vaccine?

As rabies is nearly eliminated in the UK, you should consider the rabies vaccine if you are travelling to an area in the world where rabies is common,  where you’ll be far from medical care or where you’ll be staying a month or more.  Or if you’ll be doing activities which put you at risk for greater exposure, like caving.  Asia, Africa and Central and South America are particularly endemic to Rabies.

Vaccine effectiveness?

The rabies shot is 100% effective. This is why it is very important to obtain the vaccine preventatively if you’ll be travelling to a rabies endemic location and/or far from medical care. If you are bitten by an animal, whether or not it appears rabid, it is important to get rabies shots immediately because if you begin to suffer symptoms, it will be too late for you. Once you get the vaccine, it is 100% effective.

Anna Pharmacy has your rabies vaccine in Hackbridge, Croydon, Walington, Sutton and Carshalton.