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Symptoms of Rabies

Symptoms of Rabies

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Rabies includes the 65 symptoms listed below:

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Rabies: Symptom Checkers

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Rabies: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires

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Rabies: Complications

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Do I have Rabies?

Rabies: Undiagnosed Conditions

Diseases that may be commonly undiagnosed in related medical areas:

Home Diagnostic Testing

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Wrongly Diagnosed with Rabies?

The list of other diseases or medical conditions that may be on the differential diagnosis list of alternative diagnoses for Rabies includes:

Rabies: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions, or drug side effect causes of that symptom.

Article Excerpts About Symptoms of Rabies:

Rabies, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

The doctor will suspect rabies if someone has symptoms such as:

  • A short period of mental depression,
  • Restlessness,
  • Abnormal sensations such as itching around the site of the bite,
  • Headache,
  • Fever,
  • Tiredness,
  • Nausea,
  • Sore throat, or
  • Loss of appetite.
Other early symptoms include:
  • Stiff muscles,
  • Dilation (enlargement) of pupils of the eye,
  • Increased production of saliva, and
  • Unusual sensitivity to sound, light, and changes of temperature.
If the disease has progressed, a person will have episodes of irrational excitement which alternate with periods of alert calm. Convulsions are common. Most dramatic of all are the severe and extremely painful throat spasms suffered by the person when trying to swallow or even upon seeing liquids. This reaction to water, sometimes seen as a fear of it, is typical in people with rabies and gives the disease its medical name, hydrophobia.

A person usually dies from cardiac or respiratory failure within a week after the appearance of rabies symptoms, while the excited state is most prominent. If the patient survives this stage, muscle spasms and agitation stop, only to be replaced by a growing paralysis leading to death.

In human rabies resulting from the bite of a rabid vampire bat, excitement and hydrophobia are usually not present and paralysis usually starts in the legs and moves upward.

Once symptoms appear, the only treatment is strong support to help the person feel more comfortable. This support includes controlling the symptoms in the respiratory, circulatory, and central nervous systems.

People do not recover and eventually die from the infection. (Source: excerpt from Rabies, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Rabies, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

Early signs of rabies in animals include a change in behavior, fever, loss of appetite, and often, a change in phonation, such as a change in tone of a dog's bark. These signs are often slight, however, and people may not notice them. A few days after infection, the animal may be very restlessness and become very agitated and tremble. An affected dog may growl and bark constantly, and will viciously attack any moving object, person, or animal it comes across. This excited state usually lasts three to seven days, and is followed by convulsions and paralysis.

In some instances, signs of excitement and irritability are slight or absent, and paralysis develops within a few days of disease onset. In cases of this type, an early sign is often paralysis of the lower jaw, accompanied by increased drooling and foaming of saliva. The animal may appear to be choking on a foreign object. This is a dangerous trap for humans, who, in trying to help the animal, may expose themselves to infection without knowing it. (Source: excerpt from Rabies, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Rabies as a Cause of Symptoms or Medical Conditions

When considering symptoms of Rabies, it is also important to consider Rabies as a possible cause of other medical conditions. The Disease Database lists the following medical conditions that Rabies may cause:

- (Source - Diseases Database)

Rabies: Onset and Incubation

Incubation period for Rabies: Typically 30-50 days after exposure; as fast as 14 days for a severe bite or multiple bites; a year or longer is rare but possible.

Incubation period for Rabies: When symptoms do appear, it is usually 30 to 50 days following exposure. There is a direct relationship between how severe the bite is and where on the body the person bitten and how long it takes for symptoms to appear. For example, if a person's head is severely bitten, symptoms may show up in as few as 14 days. Under rare conditions, a person may not have symptoms for a year or longer after exposure to the virus. (Source: excerpt from Rabies, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Medical articles and books on symptoms:

These general reference articles may be of interest in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

About signs and symptoms of Rabies:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Rabies. This signs and symptoms information for Rabies has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Rabies signs or Rabies symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Rabies may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Rabies symptoms.


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