Are You Scared of Rabies?

Cynthia Dermody
3
rabies vaccine

No rabies here!

Photo by lisafc

Growing up in the country, my mother made me terrified of getting rabies.

"Don't touch that stray dog or he may bite you and give you rabies."

"Watch out for that baby squirrel on the deck -- he might give you rabies!"

"You don't want to get rabies, or you'll have to get six shots in the stomach ..."

Scary, but all true.

Yet, to this day, I don't personally know anyone who's ever gotten the dreaded rabies. Maybe because all the people I hang with aren't daft enough to try to pet a raccoon staggering around in broad daylight with Cool Whip on its mouth ... IDK.

But despite these personal statistics, I was shocked to read that rabies, a oftentimes fatal virus that spreads through the saliva of an infected animal, is really, really common!

According to a recent release, a person -- usually a child -- dies of the rabies virus every 20 minutes worldwide. It's a big problem in underdeveloped countries, so I'm guessing it's not that big an issue here, but still, the prospect of six shots in the gut over a month is enough to make me wary of any stray near me or my kids.

The big news today is that doctors are close to making a rabies vaccine that requires only ONE injection to stop the virus in its tracks after being bitten. That's good to know, but thanks to my mom, I'm still petrified of baby squirrels.

Has you or anyone you know ever gotten rabies? How did they get it -- how long did it take them to get well?

 

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