Rabies (Latin, rabies, "madness, rage, fury") is a viral zoonotic disease that causes acute encephalitis in mammals. In non-vaccinated humans, rabies is almost invariably fatal after neurological symptoms have developed, but prompt post-exposure vaccination may prevent the virus from progressing.
- Rabies in humans is very similar to that in animals. The first sign in humans often consists of a general feeling of apprehension and itching or tingling at the site of the bite.
- Other signs of rabies in humans include headache, weakness, paralysis, and death.
- Because swallowing is often impossible due to paralysis of the throat muscles, humans with rabies often show extreme agitation and panic when offered water to drink. This is the origin of the term, hydrophobia.