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soulsista04us t1_ja57k3l wrote

Rabies is scary.

Rabies. It's exceptionally common, but people just don't run into the animals that carry it often. Skunks especially, and bats.

Let me paint you a picture.

You go camping, and at midday you decide to take a nap in a nice little hammock. While sleeping, a tiny brown bat, in the "rage" stages of infection is fidgeting in broad daylight, uncomfortable, and thirsty (due to the hydrophobia) and you snort, startling him. He goes into attack mode.

Except you're asleep, and he's a little brown bat, so weighs around 6 grams. You don't even feel him land on your bare knee, and he starts to bite. His teeth are tiny. Hardly enough to even break the skin, but he does manage to give you the equivalent of a tiny scrape that goes completely unnoticed.

Rabies does not travel in your blood. In fact, a blood test won't even tell you if you've got it. (Antibody tests may be done, but are useless if you've ever been vaccinated.)

You wake up, none the wiser. If you notice anything at the bite site at all, you assume you just lightly scraped it on something.

The bomb has been lit, and your nervous system is the wick. The rabies will multiply along your nervous system, doing virtually no damage, and completely undetectable. You literally have NO symptoms.

It may be four days, it may be a year, but the camping trip is most likely long forgotten. Then one day your back starts to ache... Or maybe you get a slight headache?

At this point, you're already dead. There is no cure.

(The sole caveat to this is the Milwaukee Protocol, which leaves most patients dead anyway, and the survivors mentally disabled, and is seldom done).

There's no treatment. It has a 100% kill rate.

Absorb that. Not a single other virus on the planet has a 100% kill rate. Only rabies. And once you're symptomatic, it's over. You're dead.

So what does that look like?

Your headache turns into a fever, and a general feeling of being unwell. You're fidgety. Uncomfortable. And scared. As the virus that has taken its time getting into your brain finds a vast network of nerve endings, it begins to rapidly reproduce, starting at the base of your brain... Where your "pons" is located. This is the part of the brain that controls communication between the rest of the brain and body, as well as sleep cycles.

Next you become anxious. You still think you have only a mild fever, but suddenly you find yourself becoming scared, even horrified, and it doesn't occur to you that you don't know why. This is because the rabies is chewing up your amygdala.

As your cerebellum becomes hot with the virus, you begin to lose muscle coordination, and balance. You think maybe it's a good idea to go to the doctor now, but assuming a doctor is smart enough to even run the tests necessary in the few days you have left on the planet, odds are they'll only be able to tell your loved ones what you died of later.

You're twitchy, shaking, and scared. You have the normal fear of not knowing what's going on, but with the virus really fucking the amygdala this is amplified a hundred fold. It's around this time the hydrophobia starts.

You're horribly thirsty, you just want water. But you can't drink. Every time you do, your throat clamps shut and you vomit. This has become a legitimate, active fear of water. You're thirsty, but looking at a glass of water begins to make you gag, and shy back in fear. The contradiction is hard for your hot brain to see at this point. By now, the doctors will have to put you on IVs to keep you hydrated, but even that's futile. You were dead the second you had a headache.

You begin hearing things, or not hearing at all as your thalamus goes. You taste sounds, you see smells, everything starts feeling like the most horrifying acid trip anyone has ever been on. With your hippocampus long under attack, you're having trouble remembering things, especially family.

You're alone, hallucinating, thirsty, confused, and absolutely, undeniably terrified. Everything scares the literal shit out of you at this point. These strange people in lab coats. These strange people standing around your bed crying, who keep trying to get you "drink something" and crying. And it's only been about a week since that little headache that you've completely forgotten. Time means nothing to you anymore. Funny enough, you now know how the bat felt when he bit you.

Eventually, you slip into the "dumb rabies" phase. Your brain has started the process of shutting down. Too much of it has been turned to liquid virus. Your face droops. You drool. You're all but unaware of what's around you. A sudden noise or light might startle you, but for the most part, it's all you can do to just stare at the ground. You haven't really slept for about 72 hours.

Then you die. Always, you die.

And there's not one... fucking... thing... anyone can do for you.

Then there's the question of what to do with your corpse. I mean, sure, burying it is the right thing to do. But the fucking virus can survive in a corpse for years. You could kill every rabid animal on the planet today, and if two years from now, some moist, preserved, rotten hunk of used-to-be brain gets eaten by an animal, it starts all over.

So yeah, rabies scares the shit out of me. And it's fucking EVERYWHERE. (Source: Spent a lot of time working with rabies. Would still get my vaccinations if I could afford them.)


ZombieHomeslice t1_ja5j8t0 wrote

>Then there's the question of what to do with your corpse. I mean, sure, burying it is the right thing to do. But the fucking virus can survive in a corpse for years. You could kill every rabid animal on the planet today, and if two years from now, some moist, preserved, rotten hunk of used-to-be brain gets eaten by an animal, it starts all over.

The stomach acids of vultures kills rabies. They're an incredibly important part of the ecosystem for this reason. They can eat most any diseased thing and poop it out sterile. Rabies is scary and vultures are awesome.


addsomezest t1_ja5zf1y wrote

There’s a great quote in the show, “Bones” where one Doctor states that battery acid is akin to a mild salsa for a vulture.


Sesamechama t1_ja6nx0c wrote

Vultures are hardcore! 😳 I have a newfound appreciation and deep respect for them.


phatbob198 t1_ja5moaw wrote

And then I said, "Supposing you brought the vulture's stomach acid inside the body: you can - which you can do - either through the skin er... uh... in some other way? And I think you said you're gonna test that too... sounds interesting."


ILuvMemes4Breakfast t1_ja5jk1h wrote

man took 30 minutes of his life to scare mfs straight lmao imma start getting rabies vaccines weekly


bulboustadpole t1_ja6s8my wrote

Unless you've been bitten by an animal known to carry rabies there's no need. The fear mongering around rabies is absolutely insane.

The US is one of the largest countries in the world and often the rabies vaccine isn't covered by health plans.

You know how many people die per year in the US due to rabies?

3-5 people. You're literally more likely to be killed by lightning or win the mega millions jackpot than die to rabies.


Hutch25 t1_ja8oz7c wrote

That’s the thing. People don’t get bit by anything that would carry rabies very often. And in an age of countless antibiotics odds are you clean it out before anything happens anyways like hydrogen peroxide which is very common in many households. Got Lysol wipes in your house? Well those work against rabies.

Also, most scavenger animals have a defence against it. Especially the most common stereotypical ones.

Most scavengers have characteristics which defend against it like:

Raccoons being picky eaters

Vultures being able to kill the virus with their stomachs

Most bats exclusively eat bugs or mice, and when bats do get infected they are often thrown out of their packs to starve to death, or killed on the spot.

Just about everyone vaccinates their pets

And weirdly enough mice and rats themselves don’t even get infected very often, they are very good at picking good food to eat in most situations.

Most animals a human will ever meet wouldn’t get infected, and when they do most people know to stay away and or are vaccinated.

If it was as dangerous to us as some people think, we would be all dead by now. But because it’s so rare to catch we can just kinda live our lives.


RektalTrauma t1_ja5kksl wrote

Bro fr idk why I read all that but now I'm gonna go get like 6 shots


DrMonkeyLove t1_ja5i7ft wrote

I hate this fucking thing because it's just scare mongering. In the US, dying from rabies is incredibly unlikely, like, 1 in 300,000,000 unlikely. You should be much more concerned about your commute to work or eating too much saturated fat before you worry about rabies.


CPlus902 t1_ja5j3wj wrote

Yes and no. Deaths in the US are exceedingly rare, but it's only because of how seriously we take rabies here. If you are infected and do not receive treatment before symptoms manifest, it is 100% fatal.

The good thing is that it is pretty easy to avoid rabies exposure in the US. Just maintain a safe distance from wild animals, as you should in any case.


danimagoo t1_ja5sxpe wrote

>but it's only because of how seriously we take rabies here

Specifically, it's because we mandate rabies vaccines for dogs. Worldwide, 99% of rabies deaths in humans are caused by dogs. Once you get about 70% of the dog population vaccinated, and keep it there, human deaths drop to essentially zero.


eileen404 t1_ja5vmvk wrote

But if you touch one so get the shots.... Or if you don't have insurance in the USA, take a holiday in another country and get them there as even with the hotel and place tickets it'll be cheaper.


Mithras_ t1_ja6izfc wrote

You have to pay for rabies shots in the US? Why the fuck


Leo_br00ks t1_ja6knha wrote

Lol you have to pay for everything in the US. 1.2 mile ambulance ride was $3500 lmfao. Insurance didn’t cover it at all. I once got a $800 shot of penicillin — insurance covered $15 of it.

Last year my household (2 people) spent $29k on medical. $10000 on insurance, $10000 in necessary surgeries, and $8000 on prescriptions, dr visits, and whatever the fuck else.

Thank god I have freedom of speech lol

Edit: just reread, and to clarify, my insurance was high deductible with an $18000 threshold. Both people in household basically reached the threshold but did not exceed.

For the non Americans, if we had needed much more health coverage, it would primarily be free or mostly covered from there on. The point of a high deductible plan is that it’s cheaper (as self employed people this is the main draw, as my employer doesn’t cover anything) but covers you if something really bad happens. If I got cancer, my million dollar bill would be covered. Paying out of pocket for great coverage (what I have this year) would be about $25000 instead of $10000, but this is paid by an employer (100% in our case). I pay literally nothing extra. My extra expenses this year have been less than $200.

P2 requires surgery that isn’t covered by this new great insurance, so there’s another $11000. So there’s no winning here lol


Mithras_ t1_ja6lylk wrote

That’s insane. I know it happens but I always find it hard to wrap my head around. Did you also have to pay for covid vaccination?


Leo_br00ks t1_ja6nnsv wrote

We didn’t have to (govt paid them like $2 or $4 a shot or something). Now that the “emergency status” or whatever is ending (over?) we may have to start paying.

Most insurances will cover it I’m sure. But if you don’t have it, it’ll be like $100 a shot or so. There were articles a while ago about Moderna bumping the price way up lol

Like the flu shot. They’re trying to get as many people to take it, so a lot of places will take your insurance and just bill them the most they can to cover for the people who have 0 coverage. This is like Walgreens and stuff. A Dr office is different.


Mithras_ t1_ja6sb4z wrote

Thanks for the explanation :) You have to pay for the flu shot here too (Egypt) but the Covid and Rabies vaccine are free including for visitors so if someone fancies a trip it might actually be cheaper to fly here and get them you weren’t joking


Leo_br00ks t1_ja6smie wrote

With insurance covering it, rabies cost should be no more than $200.

BUT you have to have insurance that will cover it. My new insurance will cover it but my old one wouldn’t have unless I was over the $18000 deductible for the year.

When I got my yellow fever shot, it was $250 bc insurance didn’t deem it necessary


Mithras_ t1_ja6szb6 wrote

Yellow Fever isn’t endemic to the states right? You have to pay for it here too but that makes sense since it’s actually unnecessary unless you wish to travel which is on you — allowing things like covid and rabies to go untreated is a public safety hazard though


Leo_br00ks t1_jabrzoz wrote

Correct. Just for travel. And only to risk prone countries. Don’t need it for travel into most “western” nations


eileen404 t1_ja7ben8 wrote

No I wasn't. And you should get your knee replacement surgery while you're there. It costs more than most make in a year. My daughter got hurt in Canada and we laughed at the doctor apologetically giving us a bill for$98. They gave us copies of the paperwork so we could file it to insurance when we got home and we laughed because out of network had a $5k deductable before it started converting at 80%.


Nero_PR t1_ja7ta25 wrote

Here you get a scrap somewhere and people always go for the rabies shot. It's plain and simple.


Mithras_ t1_ja8f88t wrote

So make the first course free for everyone. You’ll likely have enough immunity by then even if you get bitten again and if you need to take regular preventative shots due to the risk of your work or hobbies you can pay for it


bulboustadpole t1_ja6r3f6 wrote

>Yes and no. Deaths in the US are exceedingly rare, but it's only because of how seriously we take rabies here.

Well no this is not why. How many people do you think actually go and get the whole series of vaccines? Very little, and yet are under 10 deaths per year.


KairuByte t1_ja6xas8 wrote

We treat rabies seriously in other ways. Rabies vaccines are required for all dogs, for instance.


Changshomelesscat t1_ja82ibh wrote

Or the 45k children in America that die of gun violence and gun accidents every year.


ITstaph t1_ja5b4rm wrote

I have read less terrifying thing on r/nosleep.


Tight_Stable8737 t1_ja63vs0 wrote

I've seen this post dozens of times but it never fails to reignite my fear of rabies. Hell, this continually reposted PSA is what started my fear.


its_not_you_its_ye t1_ja5ozwv wrote

Damn. Somebody should raise awareness about this disease


MadMagilla5113 t1_ja6oot8 wrote

Like The Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun-Run Race For the Cure?


cvaninvan t1_ja6bzi0 wrote

And my hypochondria just exploded all over me....


bulboustadpole t1_ja6qyik wrote

In 2021 in the United States 5 people out of 330+ million died from rabies. It's exceptionally rare in humans.


DomDom1690 t1_ja5tjxa wrote

I used to take rabies before my college football games! Got me going!


SimplyPassinThrough t1_ja650cl wrote

where did you get this from? I’ve read it before, almost word for word, maybe a youtube video comment? It even started with the hammock bay story. Edit to add that at the end of the original comment, they said how rabies isn’t so scary in America bc we have such control over it. Third world countries are not so lucky, and have hundreds maybe even thousands of death per year.


snugglepimp t1_ja6jbe4 wrote

I probably shouldn’t have read that right before bed.


Snap111 t1_ja6vbw3 wrote

Welp, now it scares the shit out of me too...


zipcad t1_ja7eluk wrote

Sort of.

If you get vaccinated (1, 3, 7, 14) days after exposure 100% live. Anything later it gets lower and fast.

3 people last year in the United States died of rabies.

By the way, the vaccine existed since 1885.


trentbatty t1_ja7hme9 wrote

Yeah… fuck bats. And fuck rabies. I’m never going camping again. 😅