Rabies : Viral Disease – Causes
Rabies is a zoonotic viral disease (i.e. it can be transmitted from animals to humans) which affects domestic and wild animals.
It is a viral disease transmitted to animals and humans through close contact with the saliva from infected animals through bites, scratches, or licks on broken skin and mucous membranes.
Rabies is usually spread to humans from infected stray dogs. In addition, some other animals can also spread rabies. These include cats, foxes, bats, raccoons and skunks.
Rabies is caused by a virus. It is usually transmitted to humans through the bite or scratch from infected animals (usually dogs and less frequently cats). It can also be transmitted if the infected saliva enters the body through broken skin. Rabies may be contracted by inhalation of virus-containing aerosol or via transplantation of an infected organ, but this happens very rarely.
From the wound site the virus, enters the muscles and travels to the brain via the nerves. It multiplies in the brain and causes swelling or inflammation, resulting in the symptoms.
Other animals that can spread the rabies include Foxes, Bats, Raccoons and Skunks