Rabies (also called as hydrophobia) is a viral zoonotic infec­tious disease of the nervous system. The virus is a neurotropic RNA virus. It belongs to the group of radon virus.


Rabies is transmitted by the bite of rabid animals commonly dogs. Infection can also occur through the licking of rabid animals. The source of infection is the saliva of rabid animals.



The duration of illness is very short lasting for 2 to 4 days. The end is always fatal. Initially there is headache and fever. Later there is excitation and delirium. It is followed by spasm of deglutition muscles which produces fear of water. Death occurs due to respira­tory paralysis.

Prevention and control

1 Bites, wounds and scratches must be cleaned with soap and water. Later, the wound must be cauterized with carbolic acid or tinctured of iodine. Also antiracist serum must be applied on the wound.

2. The bitten person must be treated with antiracist vaccine (ARV) and human antiracism globulin.


3. Immunization for pre-exposure prophylaxis.

4. Destruction of stray dogs.

5. Prophylactic immunization of all pet dogs and domestic animals.