Rabies transmission human to human is considered a very rare rabies case because it can only happen through organ transplantation.
Rabies is a fairly common disease in some areas, especially in developing countries. Every year, this disease causes many death cases. Most rabies cases occur due to the bite of a dog infected with the virus. Although it’s rare, rabies transmission human to human can also occur, but only through organ transplantation. Deaths from this disease occur most often in countries that do not have adequate health facilities, such as Asia and Africa. In addition, the lack of socialization for the dangers of rabies and its prevention also affects the high number of cases of this disease. Some people are at high risks of getting infected, such as people living in areas prone to animal bite infections and people traveling to remote areas where health conditions are still underdeveloped, for example, Bali. This disease can be prevented by getting Anti Rabies Vaccine (VAR) or Anti Rabies Serum (SAR) and can be given before exposure (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and after exposure (post-exposure prophylaxis).
Rabies, or also known as ‘mad dog’ disease, is an infectious disease caused by the rabies virus. A person can get this disease if bitten by an animal infected with the virus. Generally, the rabies virus is found in wild animals like skunks, raccoons, bats, and foxes. However, most rabies cases are caused by dog bites, such as in Bali. In addition, cases of rabies transmission human to human are very rare. If someone infected with rabies starts experiencing symptoms, there may have been damage to the central nervous system and brain. This condition can be fatal, often even leading to death. Therefore, you should get vaccinated immediately before the virus reaches the brain. In addition, if you are bitten by an animal potentially infected with the virus, consult with a doctor immediately before any symptoms appear.
Rabies Symptoms in Humans
Usually, the signs and symptoms of rabies will appear gradually and typically starts 4-12 weeks after infected. The first stage begins with the incubation period. The incubation period is the time before any symptoms appear. The period from infection to the appearance of the first symptoms lasts for an average of 35 to 65 days. After that, the early stage of symptoms will begin to appear and can last for 2 to 10 days. Over time, the symptoms will get worse. These symptoms include:
- High fever;
- Sore throat;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Loss of appetite;
- Pain or numbness in the area bitten.
In the late stage of symptoms, an infected person will begin to experience acute nervous system disorders, such as:
- Feeling confused and restless;
- Muscle spasm;
- Fear of water (hydrophobia);
- Fear of light (photophobia);
- Difficulty swallowing;
- Excessive drooling;
If rabies doesn’t get treatment immediately, the infected person will almost always enter a coma phase. Unfortunately, coma due to rabies often leads to death in just a matter of hours. Death usually occurs from day 4 to day 7 after symptoms first appear. If symptoms have appeared, the condition is already considered fatal. Therefore, seek medical help immediately before any symptoms appear.
Rabies Transmission Human to Human
Generally, rabies to humans can be transmitted in two ways, such as through animal bites and through saliva contact of mucous membranes. Although it’s considered very rare, rabies transmission human to human is also possible. However, from the cases, it’s proven that rabies transmission human to human may only occur through organ transplantation. Rabies can infect someone who receives an organ transplant from a donor who has been infected with rabies.
A report mentioned a child who died of encephalitis with unknown causes and donated his organs. Organ recipients consist of 2 kidney recipients and 2 corneal recipients. Kidney recipients suffered death from rabies even though both patients had no history of being bitten by an animal. It was suspected that the donor had rabies because the donor often had contact with his pet dog at home. Both patients experienced an incubation period for 42 days and 48 days. Meanwhile, two other patients who received corneal transplants but received post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) was cured.
Therefore, it’s advised to do research first before receiving an organ transplant to avoid rabies transmission human to human. Rabies transmission human to human can be prevented by examining the organ transplant, and find out first if the donor had any rabies history before doing transplantation. If transplantation already happens with a rabies-infected organ, the recipient must always be monitored and administration of the PEP vaccine is suggested.
Get rabies vaccination service before symptoms occur through Medi-Call Application or simply contact Medi-Call Hotline at +62 81210783387. Vaccination can be done directly at your location with a trusted and licensed doctor.