Viral Meningitis and Encephalitis 2. Rabies • Rabies can present as a form of encephalitis.The virus is transmitted from animals to humans by salivary contamination of a bite or wound.Dogs, cats, bats and other animals may transmit the disease. • The virus is neurotropic. Enters skin, attacks peripheral nerves and spreads slowly to central nervous system. The incubation period can be weeks to months, and rarely even longer. • Diagnosis can be made by antibody determination, or immunofluorescence staining of impression smear of cornea, nerve biopsy or brain Bx. Pathognomonic Negri bodies may be present. • Clinical findings may be an encephalitis, personality change, agitation and eventually coma. It is uniformly fatal. Spasms on feeding or water exposure (hydrophobia) are classic findings, but are not always present and may be late findings. • ProphyClinical findings may be an encephalitis, personality change, agitation and eventually coma. It is uniformly fatal. Spasms on feeding or water exposure
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