How rabies is transmitted from a cat to a person and what to do if a cat has bitten or scratched you! What are the ways of infection, how to recognize a sick cat, how long the incubation period lasts.
What is rabies in cats?
Every person containing or in contact with animals should know what rabies cats are. Rabies is a deadly virus spread all over the globe. According to official world statistics, only 0.08% of people who showed the first signs of rabies survived after intensive treatment.
Do not belittle the danger of the virus, but there is no reason for panic fear. For their own safety, it is enough for a person to observe precautions and regularly vaccinate pets. Unfortunately, most viral outbreaks in populated areas begin with pets that walk unattended.
Cats become infected from wild animals, relatives or dogs, return home, show little activity during the incubation period and are next to the owner at the time they become infectious.
Rabies affects all warm-blooded animals and develops in the same way. There are several forms of rabies, the symptoms of which may differ, but in almost 100% of cases, the clinical picture develops as standard.
Important! A person or animal infected with rabies dies due to inflammation of the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.
The incubation period after rabies infection
After the penetration of infected saliva or blood in the human body, the virus begins to develop and affect brain tissue. Obvious symptoms do not appear during the incubation period, which is 10 to 14 days.
After conducting experiments in the laboratory and based on medical experience, scientists have proved that the rate of progression of the virus depends on:
- The state of immunity at the time of infection.
- The place and extent of tissue damage through which the virus entered the body.
- The presence of vaccinations or antibodies in the blood that have developed earlier.
- The presence of chronic or secretive diseases.
The incubation period may end earlier if the wounds through which the virus has entered the body are deep or extensive. The minimum incubation period recorded in medicine was only 3 days. The maximum incubation period lasted almost 6 months.
Ways of infection with human rabies from a cat
If you are constantly in contact with wild or stray animals, the most reliable method of protection against rabies is vaccination. If you are afraid of being infected with rabies from animals, but are not at risk, common routes of infection should be avoided.
A person can become infected with rabies from a cat through:
- Contact with infected saliva or blood on damaged areas of the skin or mucous membranes.
What to do if you have been in contact with a potential carrier of the virus? The main thing is not to panic, until the first symptoms of rabies appear, the process of developing the virus is reversible.
What to do if a cat has bitten?
If you were bitten by a cat, no matter domestic or stray, you need to take the following measures:
- Wash the wound under warm water with soap for 3-5 minutes, this will maximize the wash of saliva that has fallen into the wound.
- Treat the bite with an antiseptic.
- If possible, make sure that the wound from the bite does not close and does not thrombose, in other words, it is better that the blood goes from the wound for a long time.
- Go to the hospital.
After contacting a medical institution, depending on the conditions in which you were injured, the doctor will decide on the appointment of preventive measures. If the cat that bit you was homeless, rabies prophylaxis is mandatory.
Note! Doctors recommend going to the hospital immediately after receiving a bite. Therapy is effective until the first symptoms appear, that is, within 7-10 days.
If a cat scratched you?
If you were scratched by a cat that looked unhealthy or inadequate, you need to do the following:
- Wash the scratched area thoroughly with soap. Rinse the wound for 5 minutes.
- If the cat scratched his arm or leg, you need to draw water into a large container, add iodine, soda and salt to the water. The injured area of the skin must be placed in the resulting solution for 30-40 minutes. This measure will help relieve irritation, reporting and itching. If the scratch cannot be placed in the solution, apply a gauze section soaked in the solution to it.
- Treat the scratch with an antiseptic.
- Go to the hospital.
Note! Scratching is unlikely, but possible. Caring for themselves, cats lick their claws. In the external environment, the rabies virus dies after 24 hours.
Other infections and precautions
Other ways involve contact with contaminated blood or saliva. A similar situation can happen if you provide assistance to a wounded animal. Make it a rule not to come into contact with the blood and saliva of animals without gloves. If gloves are not available, protect hands with cellophane or other material that does not leak into liquids. Wash your hands thoroughly after assisting.
Recent studies have shown that infection with the virus occurs (under laboratory conditions) when inhaling the gases released during the decomposition of a corpse that died from rabies in an animal. It is unknown whether this transmission route is dangerous under natural conditions; however, do not contact with dead animals without good reason.
How to recognize a sick cat?
To protect yourself from rabies, it’s important to understand how to recognize a sick cat. Immediately, rabies sick animals are very irritable, therefore it is not recommended to approach them. If you suspect that the behavior of the animal is inadequate, without turning your back, slowly moved away from it to a safe distance.
With the standard development of the clinical picture, symptoms occur in the following order:
- Sudden behavioral changes - uncommunicative cats are drawn to people, playful active animals become lethargic.
- A slight increase in temperature.
- Poor appetite.
- Discomfort at the site of bites or scratches through which the virus has entered the body.
- Severe irritation to sounds.
- Fear of light and water.
- Fear of tactile contact.
- The desire to constantly chew and nibble.
- Tremor, cramps, disorientation, loss of balance.
- Partial or complete hind limb paralysis.
- A complete rejection of food and water.
- Paresis of the larynx muscles, as a result of which the cat cannot completely close its mouth, and foamy saliva forms in the mouth.
- Coma, due to which death occurs.
Note! In the atypical form of rabies, the above symptoms may not occur, and the life span of the infected animal may increase to 60 days.
Signs of rabies in humans
The difficulty in diagnosing rabies in animals is that tetrapods cannot describe their feelings.
Signs of rabies in humans are detected much earlier:
- Itching, tingling, tingling at the site of the bite, through which infected saliva entered the body.
- Depression, depression, panic attacks.
- Drowsiness, weakness, general malaise.
- Confusion, hallucinations.
- Disruption of the central nervous system - trembling, cramps, loss of balance, unfocused gaze, uncontrolled movements.
- Inflammation of the spinal cord, resulting in numbness or paralysis of the legs.
Important! After the onset of the first symptoms, rabies is considered incurable, therefore, if you suspect that you have contacted the virus carrier without delay, consult a doctor.