from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An acute, infectious, often fatal viral disease of most warm-blooded animals, especially wolves, cats, and dogs, that attacks the central nervous system and is transmitted by the bite of infected animals.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A viral disease that causes acute encephalitis in warm-blooded animals and people, characterised by abnormal behaviour such as excitement, aggressiveness, and dementia, followed by paralysis and death.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Same as hydrophobia (b); canine madness.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An extremely fatal infectious disease of man and many other animals, with predominant nervous symptoms.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an acute viral disease of the nervous system of warm-blooded animals (usually transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal); rabies is fatal if the virus reaches the brain
If canine rabies is a fearful subject to contemplate, there is a sadder and deeper significance in _rabies humana_; in that awful madness of the human race which is marked by a thirst for blood and a rage for destruction.
Without post-exposure prophylaxis, rabies is fatal.
But on the bright side, it's pretty uncommon to catch rabies from a bat flying in your house.
Generally, when someone, particularly a child, gets rabies and no one can find the proximal cause, bats are assigned the blame -- even though, as this article said, the incubation period for rabies is up to a year and all sorts of animal contact occurred over that period of time.
If you are interested in rabies look up some of the wolf attacks on communities in years past in Europe for some remarkable stories and absolute horror.
On the other hand, once symptoms have begun, rabies is a uniformly fatal disease.
While the incubation period for rabies is as long as six years in humans, it is only six months in a dog.
"A dog rabies is very different from a skunk rabies virus," Rupprecht said.
Canine rabies is still very common in many countries, including much of Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, India, China, the Philippines and elsewhere.
"But if you don't come from Jewland and you call the rabies gonifs how can you be a Jew?"