Why rabies infected man bark like a dog?

Rabies is a contagious and fatal viral disease of dogs and other mammals which results to madness and convulsions, it causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals. In most cases, domestic dogs are responsible for rabies virus transmission to humans. Rabies can affect both domestic and wild animals. It is spread to people through bites or scratches, usually via saliva.

More than 99% of rabies cases in countries where dogs commonly have the disease are caused by dog bites. In the Americas, bat bites are the most common source of rabies infections in humans, and less than 5% of cases are from dogs.

The incubation period for rabies is between two and 12 weeks, and sometimes as short as four days. The closer the site of infection is to your brain, the shorter the incubation period.

The initial onset of rabies begins with flu-like symptoms, including: fever, muscle weakness and tingling, You may also feel burning at the bite site. As the virus continues to attack the central nervous system, there are two different types of the disease that can develop; Furious and Paralytic Rabies.

Furious Rabies involve the hyperactive and excitable conditions of the disease, and may display erratic behaviour. The following are other symptoms of the disease but not limited to;
  • hallucinations
  • excess salivation
  • problems swallowing
  • fear of water
  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • agitation
Paralytic Rabies takes longer to set in, but the effects are just as severe. Infected people slowly become paralyzed, will eventually slip into a coma, and die. According to the World Health Organization, 30 percent of rabies cases are paralytic.

Some people might find this funny or link this to witchcraft, but it is possible that a person with rabies can bark like a dog. I have witnessed one case, but I don't have a video for the case. They bark, though it is hard to believe. If you want see how the patients with rabies real bark, just go to youtube videos you might believe. The following are few reasons why rabies infected man bark;
  • The rabies virus affects the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord of humans and animals. During the incubation period the virus travels along nerves towards the brain. This process takes at least 10 days, but may take as long as 1 year. The infection causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord that can lead to encephalopathy and, later, death. Encephalopathy is any type of disease that changes the brain's function or structure. 
  • Since rabies causes swelling or inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, then hallucinations and agitation often occurs in the patient. Also, slurred speech and disorientation can occur. Slurred speech of the of patient is how a person might bark like a dog. Slurred speech is the dysarthria condition characterized by slurred or slow speech that can be difficult to understand. It is caused by nervous system disorders stroke, brain injury, brain tumors, and conditions that cause facial paralysis of tongue or throat muscle weakness (For Rabies case, slurred speech is caused by inflammation of brain and spinal cord)
Photo: An illustration showing how Rabies patients feel on barking and biting because the rabies virus drive the host insane.

The above two reasons are just few of what I know about this matter, but there might be more other scientific reasons that describes in and out of the case. If you are a Doctor, veterinary experts, or any other person that you know more about the case, you are free to share your opinions by commenting below. You are welcome!!.

Posted by: Lusubilo A. Mwaijengo

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