When I was just four years old, I was fooling around at a zoo, which was typical behavior for me. I was trying to feed a monkey and the monkey reacted by almost biting off my index finger. I wasn’t sure what had happened but I definitely had a big smile on my face, even though my parents were screaming and shouting several words. The only word that stuck in my head was “rabies” because they were saying it repeatedly with urgency. The other reason I remembered that word was because I had to go get another shot (vaccination) to make sure I didn’t contract rabies. At that time I had no idea what rabies was, but after taking medical microbiology and going more in depth into the topic I realized that rabies is indeed a very dangerous disease, where if contracted and no vaccination is obtained the person who acquired it will eventually die. Rabies is a viral disease that is caused by a virus known as Lyssavirus, which comes from the virus family of Rhabdovirus. This virus is transmitted through direct contact with the infected animal, so me getting beaten by a monkey would have done the trick if the monkey was actually infected with the virus. This virus works by infecting the muscles at site of the bite and then the typical symptoms of a viral infection (fever, malaise, headache). However there is another factor to this disease. The virus is transported to the CNS causing neurological symptoms to develop, the main one being hydrophobia, while other symptoms include hallucinations, seizures, and the patient going into a coma. As the symptoms show, contracting this disease can be extremely dangerous and precautionary measures must be taken immediately otherwise the patient might face the risk of death.

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