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Quick GuideTravel Health: Vaccines & Preventing Diseases Abroad
What are rabies symptoms and signs?
Symptoms can occur as fast as within the first week of the infection.
The early symptoms of rabies are very generalized and include weakness, fever, and headaches. Without a history of a potential exposure to a rabid animal, these symptoms would not raise the suspicion of rabies as they are very similar to the common flu or other viral syndromes.
The disease can then take two forms:
- With paralytic rabies (approximately 20% of cases), the patient's muscles slowly become paralyzed (usually starting at the site of the bite). This is the less common form and ends in coma and death.
- With furious rabies (about 80% of cases), the patient exhibits the classic symptoms of rabies, such as
Once the clinical signs of rabies occur, the disease is nearly always fatal.