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What are the symptoms of rabies?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Rabies may start with flu-like symptoms, including fever and headache. Patients may become confused, agitated, and behave strangely. They may be delirious and unable to sleep, and they may salivate unusually much. The muscles in the throat contract painfully, so that the patient cannot swallow. For one in five people with rabies, the first sign is when the bitten body part becomes paralyzed, followed by the rest of the body; these patients usually don't get the other symptoms. Rabies symptoms can appear anywhere from 10 days to a more than a year after the bite occurred, depending how far away the bite is from the brain, but a month or two is most common. By the time symptoms appear, rabies is almost always fatal.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.