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Virginia Dog Bite Attorney: A Closer Look At the Rabies Virus

November 19, 2012 by The Parrish Law Firm

We all love our dogs; that’s just a fact of life. However, that love we have for man’s best friend can make it easy to forget that dogs bite more than 4.7 million Americans every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those victims, 800,000 seek medical attention (half of which are children), and 16 people die.

Parrish Law Firm, PLLC handles dog bite injury claims in Virginia and is here to offer some information on a possibly deadly consequence of a dog bite: rabies.

What is rabies?

Rabies is the result of a virus called Lyssavirus rabies that affects the nervous system of the body. It usually enters through a bite from an infected animal (dogs, raccoons, foxes, skunks, bats, etc.) and produces swelling in the brain. If the virus goes without swift treatment, it may cause convulsions and respiratory failure before resulting in almost certain death.

What are the symptoms?

Like a common flu, the first symptoms of rabies may include fever, general weakness/ discomfort, or headaches, each of which can last for days, according to the CDC. Itching or prickling at the site of the bite may progress to the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Cerebral dysfunction
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Irregular behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations

After clinical signs of rabies show themselves, the virus is almost 100% fatal and treatment works to support the patient until death.

How is rabies treated?

Rabies is treated with postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), a regime that consists of one dose of immune globulin and four doses of rabies vaccination over a period of 14 days. The dose of immune globulin and the premier dose of rabies vaccine should be provided by your healthcare professional immediately after exposure to the rabies virus. After the first vaccination, doses should be provided on days 3, 7, and 14. The vaccines are injected into the patient’s arm and are generally painless.

Contact a Virginia Dog Bite Attorney

The founding attorney of Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, James (Jim) Parrish, works with Virginia residents who have suffered from dog bites in an effort to win them the fair compensation they deserve. Once on the side of insurance companies, Jim now fights for his fellow citizens with the experience gained from working for the other side. Contact Parrish Law Firm, PLLC now and fill out a free case consultation form, or call us at 703-906-4229.

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