Beware, even a lick can be fatal

Published: 19th September 2012 11:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th September 2012 11:39 AM   |  A+A-


Although Rabies is a deadly viral infection spread by infected animals, there is hardly any awareness about the issue among all. There are many myths in the minds of people about this disease.

The general perception is that one needs to worry If the dog actually bites the victim. We normally consult a doctor if the dog’s teeth penetrate the skin. But what most of us don’t know is that even a lick can be fatal.

Though dogs are the most common animals that spread Rabies, they are not the only ones that can spread the infection. Animals like cats  and monkeys can also be the source of infection.

The current WHO guideline for Rabies Prevention after animal bite/scratch recommends the following:- 0.5 or 1ml intramuscular injection in the-upper arm on days. Day 0 is the day for first injection; preferably the day of the bite and all the other days are to be counted from this day onwards.

In case of small children, the vaccination is given in the antero-lateral aspect of thigh. The vaccine shall never be injected into hips/gluteal region.

Rabies immunoglobulin has to be injected on day 0 in all category III bites. People who have taken the vaccination earlier should inform the doctor about the same,as for them the vaccination schedule and number of doses may be different.

The vaccine can be taken even before coming in contact with the animal.In this case, to maintain appropriate antibody levels in the body, one has to get re-vaccinated periodically as advised by his/her doctor.

Rabies is a fatal yet preventable disease. Even if you feel normal after 10 days of the dog bite, beware you could still be infected with Rabies.

You can get rabies usually between 30-90 days after being bitten by dog. This time actually ranges from two weeks and six years.

Because of the time gap between the dog bite and the appearance of symptoms, many people might avoid treatment if initially they do not observe any symptoms. This can prove to be dangerous later. Hence post bite/scratch/lick treatment should be given as soon as possible. However even if the people are late, then also it should be given.

Factors which may influence the length of the time gap between the dog bite and appearance of the symptoms include the site of the bite, the amount of virus in the saliva of the dog and the age and immune system of the victim.

It is shorter in case the bite is closer to the brain and massive close of virus has been passed in the body.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp