By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS)

Lately our news has been showing footage of wild dogs in Kyoto as well as abandoned houses which have become wild animal havens. One of the fears voiced in most of the programs is rabies.

Rabies is a bullet shaped single-strand negative RNA virus. It belongs to the Rhabdoviridae family.

Humans are usually infected by being bitten by a rabid animal, but can also become infected from inhaling bat droppings.

After infection, the virus moves within the peripheral neurons to the brain, where it replicates mainly in the gray matter. From the brain it moves along autonomic nerves to infect the lungs, kidneys, adrenal medulla and salivary glands. The incubation time is usually 1 – 8 weeks, but may extend over several months all the way up to 240 days.

The clinical illness may begin with strange sensations at the bite location, but it ultimately leads to a fatal encephalitis coupled with neuronal degeneration of the brain and spinal cord. Clinical symptoms vary with the stage of the disease, which goes through a prodromal phase, excitation phase and paralytic phase. The famous photophobia (sensitivity to light) occurs during the prodromal phase, and the hydrophobia caused by pharynx spasms appears in the excitation phase and disappears in the paralytic phase. The victim becomes comatose in the final phase.

Once the clinical symptoms appear, death is almost certain.

There are vaccines which can prevent rabies, if given in time, so early treatment is essential. The first dose is supposed to be given on Day 0, so it’s important to get to a doctor right away if you think you’ve been bitten by a rabid animal.

References

Harvey, Richard A.. Microbiology: 1 (Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews Series) (p. 310). Lippincot (Wolters Kluwer Health).

Chamberlain, Neal. Medical Microbiology: The Big Picture: The Big Picture (LANGE The Big Picture) . McGraw-Hill Education. Kindle Edition.

狂犬病

この過去2ケ月のニュース番組にはなぜか『狂犬病』がよく課題として言及されてきた。京都の嵐山の野生化した犬、ゴミ屋敷内の野生動物天国などが取り上げられた。

狂犬病は弾丸形の一本鎖マイナス鎖RNAウイルス。ラブドウイルス科に属する。

人間への感染は狂犬病をもつ動物に噛まれたケースが殆どだが、コウモリの糞からの空気感染例もある。

感染後、狂犬病ウイルスは末梢ニューロン経由で脳に移動し、脳内の灰白質で複製する。脳から自律神経を通じて肺、腎臓、副腎髄質や唾液腺を感染。18週間の潜伏期間が多いが数ケ月から240日間までのケースもある。

臨床的疾患は噛まれた個所での異変感覚から始まる場合もあるが、いずれには脳と脊髄の変性に伴い、死に至る脳炎に進んで行く。臨床症状は段階によって異なる。狂犬病には『前駆期』、『興奮期』及び『麻痺期』がある。有名な光恐怖症は前駆期に現れる。咽頭喉頭部痙攣原因の恐水病は 興奮期に発生、 麻痺期に消える。噛まれた被害者は最後の麻痺期に昏睡に陥る。

臨床症状が現れるとほぼ確実に死に至る。

狂犬病に対するワクチンがあるので早い治療は不可欠。第一回目のワクチン投与は噛まれた日に注射するようになっているので噛まれた場合には忽ちの治療を受けなければならない。

参考書

Harvey, Richard A.. Microbiology: 1 (Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews Series) (p. 310). Lippincot (Wolters Kluwer Health).

Chamberlain, Neal. Medical Microbiology: The Big Picture: The Big Picture (LANGE The Big Picture) . McGraw-Hill Education. Kindle Edition.

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English books published by AELS

(AELS出版英語書籍リスト)

 

I. Majoh Gakuin and Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools Trilogy

1. Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools

2. Lost Witch (The second book)

3. Fate & Magic (The final book in the trilogy)

II. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire Trilogy

1. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire

2. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Returns

3. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Challenges (The final book in the trilogy)

III. Fantasy fiction set in Japan

1. 21st Century Ninja

2. Regressed

3. Japanese Woman

IV. Fantasy fiction set outside of Japan

1. Dimension Jumpers

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