The rabies virus uses the body's nerves as a pathway to its ultimate destination -- the brain. From there it invades the salivary glands, causing the patient to salivate too much and making it easy to spread the virus through a bite. Unless treated, rabies eventually settles in the brain, reproducing until the patient begins to act strangely and eventually dies. However, patients who get rabies treatment before they feel any symptoms will not suffer or experience the serious consequences.
- Q How common is rabies?
- Q What is rabies and how do people get it?
- Q How dangerous is rabies if it is not treated?
- Q How can I tell if an animal has rabies?
- Q How can I care for someone who has been exposed to rabies?
- Q Should I talk to my doctor if I think I have been exposed to rabies?