By: Joe Swails

What is rabies?
Rabies is an infection of the central nervous system. If you are bitten by a dog (or another animal) with rabies, the rabies infection is transmitted through the animal’s saliva into your body. However, it is possible to become infected in other ways (please see Causes section below).

The rabies infection causes swelling of the brain and a range of symptoms:


Splitting headaches

Hallucinations and delusions

‘Frothing’ at the mouth

Rolling eyes

Manic behaviour



Raging thirst



Irritability which can develop into high levels of agitation

Symptoms may not become apparent until a full year after infection.

Note: Many people who become infected with the rabies virus develop depressive illness. Please see contact details for the Depression Alliance in the Advice & Support section at the foot of this article.

Rabies is mainly caused by animal bites. Most cases of rabies in the UK have been caused by the victim having been bitten by a dog or bat whilst on holiday abroad or while working overseas. These incidents aside, the UK is recognised by the World Health Organisation as being a rabies-free territory.

Rabies can not only be contracted through an animal bite. You can get rabies through an annual licking your open wound (or any area of broken skin) or even through your eyeball. It then goes on to infect your brain and spinal chord.

A confirmed diagnosis of rabies is usually gained through studying the results of a saliva, spinal fluid, or blood test.

Effect on your life
Rabies can cause encephalitis and even death. This is why it is essential to seek medical treatment urgently if you think you may be infected with the rabies virus.

Although most cases of rabies prove fatal, if the infection can be treated in time it is possible to cure the condition.

Treatment is an anti-rabies vaccine.

How Chemist Online can help
Through this website we have a range of treatments available to buy which can help ease headaches – an associated symptom of rabies.

From Chemist Online you can also buy a range of sleeping aids which help promote a good night’s sleep.


Advice & Support
Health Protection Agency
Website: www.hpa.org.uk

Depression Alliance
Tel: 0845 123 23 20
Website: www.depressionalliance.org

This information and advice is not intended to replace the advice of your GP or chemist. Chemist Online is also not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based upon the content of the Chemist Online website. Chemist Online is also not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.

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