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Fight against rabies

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The June issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior reported a recent case of a 28-year-old woman in India presenting with a sudden, persistent state of sexual arousal. She was referred to the local hospital, where she died four days later. At post mortem she was found to be suffering from rabies.

Rabies is a viral disease that has been almost eradicated from Europe and the US, but continues to be a scourge in the developing countries of Africa and Asia. According to the World Health Organization, more than 50,000 people die from the disease each year.

Rabies is famous for causing a fear of water, caused by paralysis of the swallowing muscles, but can sometimes manifest itself first as hypersexuality, due to inflammation of the brain.

The disease predominantly affects children under 15 years old, and 99 per cent of cases are transmitted by dogs. Medical advice should be sought within 24 hours of being bitten, licked or scratched by a suspected infected animal. Medical treatment consists of an injection of antibodies into the area of the wound, followed by four further vaccinations over the following two weeks. By the time symptoms are present the disease is incurable and death will result.

A recent successful programme of vaccination and management of dogs on the rabies black spot island of Bohol in the Philippines involved almost 15,000 local people as volunteers, combined with an education programme, which included schoolchildren, into the spread and management of the disease. The result was a dramatic reduction in deaths from rabies.

As the author Alexander McCall Smith, patron of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, recently said: “This is a disease not awaiting a great scientific breakthrough. The means of tackling it are already there. All that is required is the will to do something about it.”

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From: Beyond pharmacy blog

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