r/interestingasfuck 5d ago

Hydrophobia in Rabies infected patient


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u/brianne----- 5d ago

This has gotta be one of the most brutal ways to go..there’s a full video of when he first goes to the hospital.. terrifying cause it’s too late to help him


u/sis-n-pups 5d ago

I don't want to see the full thing - but once it's like this, they die? This man died?


u/HempHehe 5d ago

Yeah, once you start showing symptoms of rabies it's already too late. You're a goner.


u/joeschmoe86 5d ago

It's easy to think people get too worked up about rabies, until you realize this.


u/HempHehe 5d ago

Yeah, it genuinely terrifies me. If I EVER get rabies I want somebody to shoot me or something because I do NOT want to go out that way. Just seeing videos of animals that have it scares the hell outta me.


u/NoSignOfStruggle 5d ago

It’s actually quite curable if you act soon enough. If you ignore it then you’re fucked.


u/LoremIpsum10101010 5d ago

It's preventable in that you can be infected and clear it before it does damage to the brain. But once it gets into your brain, you're dead.


u/breakingbadjessi 5d ago

Correction once it starts replicating along the nervous system it’s too late. It usually works it’s way to the brain last which is why it’s so miserable


u/Austinstart 5d ago edited 5d ago Ally

A few people have survived. It’s called the Milwaukee protocol. The patient is given antivirals and put into a coma. Most die but some live now. Also there is evidence that many people in chili get mild cases from vampire bats and just get over it.

Edit: Chile. Jeez ppl


u/Severe-Butterfly-864 5d ago edited 4d ago

3 people. The milwaukee protocol has been known to have been applied to 35 patients, and 3 have survived. IIRC, it involves putting you in a catatonic state and lowering your body temperature to slow the rabies down so your immune system can respond.

*edit Just saying that 'A few' was probably needlessly ambiguous when it means a very small number like 3. As for 20 people having survived rabies, maybe, but my information was specifically for known applications of the milwaukee protocol.


u/FeuerwerkFreddi 5d ago edited 5d ago

Even only one because the other two actually succumbed to rabies. Scientists want the protocol to be abandoned because it hinders other research that could eventually help more people

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u/arlo111 5d ago

The Milwaukie protocol has not stood the test of time. It unfortunately doesn’t appear to work any better than normal supportive (intensive) care. IIRC the survivors did not fare well either.

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u/-Imprivata- 5d ago

Only one has survived long term. I think it was a teenage girl at the time. She has mild effects still. The other “survivors” I don’t think lived more than a few years

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u/Public-Pack-2608 5d ago Bravo!

RN here. Only 20 ppl in history have survived rabies. Only 3 of those had no previous pre/post prophylaxis exposure. Of those 3, only one doesn’t have severe debilitating deficits. It’s like 99.9% fatal. Peru. Not Chile. It’s one paper that discusses they found rabies antibodies in 6 ppl who are part of an Amazonian tribe in Peru. The data suggests they were exposed to rabies but never developed the disease. The paper is suggesting that it’s possible that bites from certain animals might not be as fatal as others d/t transmission issues, etc. In this case, it was a type of vampire bat in the region. 6 people is not many.


u/Banxrok 5d ago

The last of us plot thickens.

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u/ChoccyCohbo 5d ago

That's only because they died and came back as undead, of course


u/srL- 5d ago Silver Take My Energy

Good plot for a movie !

A team of scientists go to Chile to study the multiple recoveries from bat inflicted rabbbies that were noticed there. They decide to go to a small village in the mountains where more than half the population was seemingly self cured. But when they discover that they are in fact surrounded by vampires, the scientific expedition takes another bloody turn !

"From Dusk till Dawn : Origins", directed by Robert Rodriguez

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u/Yawzheek 5d ago

The Milwaukee Protocol has been deemed ineffective; that girl that survived was a fluke, and attempts to repeat that success have all ended in failure. We are just as close to treating rabies post-symptoms as we were before the protocol.


u/sageofbeige 5d ago

One person survived and the damage is irreplaceable, she will never be fully independent, it's equivalent to a traumatic brain injury, loss of long term memory, re learning everything and not being able to recover skills she's lost.

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u/ClassicHat 5d ago

But that’s the thing, once you have symptoms it’s too late. While most people will get treatment with a dog bite especially if it was acting the way you would think a rabid dog would act like, I feel there might be a lot of people that would write off a bat bite/scratch


u/ProfessorShameless 5d ago

There have been people that have gotten bitten by small bites and their teeth are so small, the people didn't notice.

I will stay inside sir.


u/isdalwoman 5d ago

Yeah, this is why a bat being found in your living spaces means a trip to the ER for the rabies postphylaxis protocol. My grandparents’ cats found a bat in the house at one point and while the cats were cool because they were already vaccinated my grandparents had to go straight to the hospital for treatment just in case because if a bat bit you, you won’t always know. No way of knowing if it was already there when they were asleep.

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u/MODUS_is_hot 5d ago

It’s why you should check if you receive any kind of scratch from a wild animal or any animal for that matter


u/MedicinalPorpoises 5d ago

Not here in Australia. No rabies here thankfully.


u/rjf89 5d ago


u/Forge__Thought 5d ago Bravo Grande! Evil Cackle

Fucking A. Of course Australia would have "I Can't Believe It's Not Rabies!"

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u/NoSignOfStruggle 5d ago

Yeah, but y’all got cone snails. They’re worse than rabies.

In fact, it’s my belief that in Australia every animal is able to kill humans with just a hard stare.


u/Desperate_Radio_2253 5d ago

Animal? You're underestimating our plants mate


“For two or three days the pain was almost unbearable; I couldn’t work or sleep, then it was pretty bad pain for another fortnight or so. The stinging persisted for two years and recurred every time I had a cold shower.”

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u/sidewalknomad 5d ago

ohhh boyyyyy this thread just got good. brb spending the next hour googling cone snails & plants.

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u/ShitGunADED 5d ago

Holy shit this is true, how do you all have all manner of deadly creatures like box jellyfish and funnel web spiders and snakes with the venom of satan himself but rabies isn't a worry? I guess you gotta worry about getting chlamydia from all the koalas though.


u/Daddyssillypuppy 5d ago

Really, really strict border security.

We even have a Free to Air TV show that is just watching Border Control doing their jobs. Unimaginatively called 'Border Control'

Animals have to quarantine for months before they can enter and we have restrictions on all sorts of things like plant matter souvenirs.

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u/Legogamer16 5d ago

Only if you catch it before the infection takes place, and follow a strict vaccination schedule. If you miss one dose, thats it

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u/nitefang 5d ago

I think 2 people have survived, ever. It required being out in an induced coma and apparently isn’t a cure a all.

If you think you might have been exposed, just go and get the shots, much easier that way.


u/AcanthisittaLoose744 5d ago

Called the Milwaukee Protocol. Further experiments showed it really wasn’t really successful. I’d still give it a shot if need be though. It’s a Hail Mary


u/QUESO0523 5d ago

Might as well, you're dead if you don't anyway.

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u/Nexus_Crawler_159 5d ago

Once someone starts showing symptoms of rabies the survival rate is virtually zero

That’s why they usually give you the treatment shots if they even think you might have it.

I remember one case with a girl they did get through rabies but it was a million to one shot where they put her in a coma.


u/StunningRub1155 5d ago

I think she survived but had significant life altering issues


u/computerwyzard 5d ago

I met her at a bat show!! She was super nice. Actually had lunch with me and another volunteer. Maybe the ever so slightest slowed down speech but was super nice and intelligent, basically normal.


u/specter376 5d ago

Aww, that's awesome to hear. I always wondered how it impacted her life.

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u/Isweer95 5d ago

For this must have like someone Hit the big reset Button.

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u/JonDoeJoe 5d ago

Will getting the shot before getting scratch work? Or does it only work after you been infected?


u/Boring-Vast-9711 5d ago

I worked in a rabies lab. You get 3 shots a week apart and then a booster a year later as a prevention. The vaccine made me feel like shit for the whole 3 weeks.

There are studies this can give you immunity for up to 25 years to life but it depends on the person.

We needed to check our antibody counts every year if we wanted to skip the annual booster.

If you're vaccinated and get bitten by something suspicious they give you two shots instead of five. At least that's how it is in my country.


u/foamy9210 5d ago

Honestly I'd probably take 3 weeks of feeling like shit to maybe have 25 years of immunity.

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u/Bubashii 5d ago

When I was doing a lot of travel this was the one vaccine I absolutely insisted on. The cost was ridiculous even in Aus with our great healthcare system and they said it probably wasn’t needed…I was like “fuck that I’m going to India…give me the damn vaccine”…rabies is terrifying

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u/Crazyhairmonster 5d ago

I was bit by a bat and had 4 shots on my first visit, then 1 or 2 each visit thereafter. Actually had all 4 at the exact same time. Had 4 nurses, 2 on each side, thigh, thigh, shoulder, shoulder.

Surprisingly painless shots as well. I was terrified going into it because of stories from my childhood about giant two inch needles into your gut if you had rabies. Was definitely not the case.

Receipts: https://imgur.com/a/z3t80KE

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u/Gunginrx 5d ago

It works afterwards because it takes so long for the virus to reach your brain, if you get the shot in time your body will have had enough time to mount a response to the vaccine and fight off the original infection


u/therealnotrealtaako 5d ago

There's an innoculation for it as well. I didn't find out about it until watching a survival show where a contestant alluded to the fact that they were asked to take the preventative vaccination before arriving to their destination. The contestant in question didn't take it.

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u/Food-at-Last 5d ago

I was vaccinated against rabies. I had about 3 shots IIRC. Back then they said it was for life, but I've heard research showed you should actually do follow up shots every 10 years or so. I have not done any follow up shots though

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u/Ludwigofthepotatoppl 5d ago

It does, but it’s not something to do lightly. First off, it’s not permanent—if you work in a job where exposure is possible, vaccination is recommended. Not all vaccines are the same, lasting six months to two years.

Second, it’s not usually just a single shot—pre-exposure vaccines can be two shots a week apart; post-exposure vaccines are usually four shots, with 2, 3, and 4 happening 3, 7, and 14 days after the first shot.

Third, the vaccine is expensive. This isn’t entirely due to pharmaceutical price-jacking (outside of america, anyway), but also because the vaccines for humans are made using human immunoglobulin, and there are serious rules regarding screening the blood being used to make the vaccines, meaning each dose can cost hundreds of dollars.

This makes it hard to vaccinate a lot of people except those with regular risk of exposure, or people who’ve been bit.

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u/OmegaSpeed_odg 5d ago

So how is it determined if they “think” you have it? Is it basically just if you’re ever bitten by an animal basically?


u/CaseyG 5d ago

If there was a bat inside your house while you were asleep, you just assume it has rabies and it bit everyone inside.

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u/aellis0032 5d ago

Essentially yeah. I got bit by a stray car when I was a kid and had to get like 3 or 4 shots over about a week I think.


u/Deep-in-my-mind 5d ago

Those pesky cars escaping the showrooms, roaming around biting people.


u/aellis0032 5d ago

Oh shit I just realized. Well I’m not changing it now.


u/rom-ok 5d ago

It must have been one of those werecars

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u/gn0xious 5d ago

I got bit by a stray car

Was it frothing at the grill?


u/dboyer87 5d ago

Was it a BMW?


u/Bob-Bhlabla-esq 5d ago

Was it a Mercury Cougar or just a Jaguar?

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u/Imaginary_Most_7778 5d ago

Yes. If you get bit by an animal you will probably get a rabies vaccine.

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u/fangelo2 5d ago

It’s nearly 100% fatal. That’s why if you even suspect that you may have been bitten or scratched by a wild animal, you get the vaccine. There is nothing that can be done later

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u/Kveldson 5d ago

Yep. Rabies is scary. It takes a while. And every moment is torture. You will be disoriented and terrified for the rest of your life.

Drowning? Over quickly.

Butied alive? Longer but still not as long as rabies.

Dying due to extensive 3rd degree burns as doctors try to keep you alive? Hell

Rabies? Just euthanise the person. There is no recovery once symptoms manifest. Why let them suffer?

Fuck that. If I contract rabies, please kill me.


u/Jambi1913 5d ago

I remember watching something about rabies when I was 12 or so - think it was documenting people who had it in the Philippines. I could not comprehend why they kept them alive knowing they were just watching these people suffer and die. They ended up tying them to the beds because they got so agitated and then just leaving them there because they can’t do anything for them. I thought “how can the staff sleep at night?” It’s immensely depressing.

We don’t treat animals like that - we put them out of their misery when they are suffering with no hope of recovery. But something about our fellow human beings makes it “wrong” to do that?! I just thought: make it make sense! What the hell?! There must be some way to end their suffering and not be seen as a murderer…

And 40% of rabies’ approximately 59,000 yearly victims are children. Absolutely horrifying way to die.


u/MasochistTtT 5d ago

because euthanasia is not legal in the Philippines. The doctors know very well these people would be better off dead, but they would face jail if they attempted it.

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u/BruzzTheChopper 5d ago

Oh, honey. I've worked as a tech in the ICU and you wouldn't believe how many times I watched those RNs and RTs brutalize 90+ year old ladies with compressions because the family doesn't want to kill gram gram. Except gram gram has end stage everything and is on 20 different drips and a ventilator, she ain't going home to bake cookies.

It's so sad. Unfortunately it is an ethical dilemma that healthcare workers aren't in a place to fight because we can't make those decisions for families. But I have it it writing that I will never be in the same situation as gram gram, my family knows exactly what to do with me should such a situation arise. I suggest every single person writes out an advanced directive and puts someone deeply trusted in charge of end of life care. Not your cousin or your estranged daughter or your ex wife who still loves you. Because anybody whose name is on it can just up and decide they don't like your plan if you are deemed incompetent to make decisions, which really sucks. Just be aware of what can happen legally at the end of your life and prepare accordingly, even if you're only 18 and completely healthy.

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u/FuckOffHey 5d ago

This comment from a few years ago sums it up pretty well.

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u/Muse9901 5d ago

There’s old timey videos of where they just left patients through the whole course of rabies and it’s absolutely horrific foaming at the mouth convulsing…


u/brianne----- 5d ago

Chained to the bed trying to bite anyone that gets close . They”te so thirsty and dehydrated but they can’t drink.. the body rejects it..still gives me chills

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u/Scurster 5d ago

Can you put a link to it?


u/Beerslayer420 5d ago


u/typehyDro 5d ago edited 5d ago

Creepy af, especially that audio track behind… like wtf…

Edit - is that the same track the movie sinister used? If there wasn’t the narration track… 🫣


u/sfnick650 5d ago

I know, was that shit really necessary?

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u/Scrambledcat 5d ago edited 4d ago

Euthanize me before if that shit kicks in


u/LoserBigly 5d ago

Morphine please, lots of it, keep it coming ‘til I tell you to stop…


u/Tatanka007 5d ago

I think till you can’t tell them to stop. That’s what you meant.


u/LoserBigly 5d ago edited 5d ago

No Don’t stop ‘til I tell you, which is never…

Feed me morphine until I’m flat-lined.


u/MBThree 5d ago

It’s like when they bring out the Parmesan shredder at Olive Garden and the server says “tell me when!” And you never say anything until they are outta cheese


u/yondu1963 5d ago

The room fills with cheese. No one survives…

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u/AdornedBrood 5d ago

But keep me zooted long enough to have fun on it. Don’t want to blackout too soon!


u/morbidaar 5d ago

Was gonna say.. add in some benzos beforehand, and you’ll be gone before ya even knew not nothing no way not neeeeevah

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u/nicktheone 5d ago

If they catch you before this kicks in you can still be cured. It's irreversible when you start showing symptoms.

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u/blue-wanderer-quartz 5d ago

I got bit by a stray cat while trying to rescue it from a drainage pit. I went to the ER the next day and began the process of getting all the rabies shots. There had been an uptick in my city due to the strays eating infected animals. Jab me with long ass needles all day, I don't care. Rabies is terrifying. Even if it was unlikely, fuck that. Thank the universe I have insurance. It cost over 20 grand.


u/AmbitionSpecialist 5d ago

About a decade ago I broke up a fight between my cats and a stray, the stray had been around but it hadn't acted like that before and it that ran off after the fight. I got scratched-up, proverbially shit my pants, and went to the hospital to get the whole rabies series. The shots were not fun or anything, but not dying of rabies is a pretty good feeling.


u/blue-wanderer-quartz 5d ago edited 5d ago

The shots were nothing compared to the anxiety I felt about possibly being exposed to an uncurable virus. I'm glad everything worked out for you and that you are well.


u/LivelyZebra 5d ago

This thread is scary; I was on holiday as a teen and got scratched by a wild / stray cat; Being afraid of consequences I hid the real reason from my parents and just went on with my life. lol little did I know what could have been


u/blue-wanderer-quartz 5d ago

Well I'm glad you're okay and all ended well!

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u/DomesticMongol 5d ago

Shit that is crazy. You cant have it if you dont have money? Where I came from they are free and police will come to take you if you dont show up for them…


u/blue-wanderer-quartz 5d ago

You can get the shots, you will just be in medical debt trying to pay the bill without insurance.

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u/GloriousSalami 5d ago

20 fucking grand??? I literally just checked, Verorab is 50EUR per vaccine here plus a few euros for the jab itself. I knew your health system is absurd, but this just sounds like a joke. How can you justify 20 grand?


u/boston_2004 5d ago

Want an interesting example of how fucked it is. My wife broke her arm. We went to the doctor. We have insurance. They put a cast on it. They charged insurance and us 11000 our portion of the bill was 893. Of that 893 we are left to pay 490 was denied by insurance.

Why was it denied? Because of 'uncovered service'. What was uncovered? Hot therapy. What was "hot therapy'? Wrapping my wifes arm before putting it in the cast.

We argue with insurance because that isnt any kind of therapy, that is just the process of putting the cast on.

After appeal, we are still on the hook, our insurance says it isnt covered.

So insurance in America can have basic parts of medical services "excluded" so you pay more, with no way to actually win an appeal, and no way of knowing in advance what action could cause an extra charge.


u/OverclockingUnicorn 5d ago

Not an American here

Do you know at the time what is/is not covered under insurance?

Or do you really just get a bill and hope that its all covered, and if not you are sol?


u/tillacat42 5d ago

Most people don’t even know what their deductible or copay is. I am a healthcare provider. Want to know the fucked up part? We don’t even know what’s covered. Sure, we call the insurance and ask on every patient, but each insurance verification comes along with a disclaimer that the information given isn’t a guarantee of coverage and they aren’t responsible for giving out misinformation. We got denied on a patient recently because he needed pre-certification for coverage, but in 3 separate phone calls, we were told by the insurance representatives that he didn’t need it. When we called about this, we were told oops, it was a mistake in their system and they will correct it. Then they proceeded to tell us there was nothing they could do to get his claim covered. We ended up eating the cost and treated the patient for free. Which might be okay for a large hospital, but we are 3 therapists in a small practice and every time something like this happens, it really hits hard.


u/Djeece 5d ago

And people just accept that that's "how it is".

People should be flipping cop cars over this. France is doing it everytime the government so much as looks like it wants to cut a social program.

How is having the living standards of a 3rd world country for 90% of your population not a good enough reason to protest?

Are Americans only allowed to protest if it's about getting rid of other people's rights or something? (Abortion, LGBTQ rights)



The problem is that so many companies depend on this status quo for their entire existence, and many would cease to exist or minimally lose a lot of money if we went full social healthcare. The people behind these companies fight tooth and nail to keep things from changing.

This leads us to the situation we find ourselves in now. While ethically speaking our system is horrible and needs to change, doing so has become politicized due to these special interests, and like anything politicized it becomes impossible to make any real headway on it.


u/Djeece 5d ago

You're right, that's what happens when candidates' election costs are paid for by private companies.

That's probably where most of the US' problems come from if we're honest.

Here in Canada, private companies aren't allowed to contribute to political parties and there's even a limit to how much an individual can contribute. (That hasn't stopped engineering firms from having ALL their employees contribute the max to the party in power, but hey at least we're trying to have fair elections, free of corporate meddling)

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u/TheBandIsOnTheField 5d ago

In general, don't know what is covered. But if a scheduled procedure, can sometimes get a feel for it if you have time to put in the leg-work.

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u/blue-wanderer-quartz 5d ago

Wanna know the kicker? I needed 4 shots spaced out. Day 0, 3, 7 and 14 of the vaccine. So about 3k a piece each...and a nurse told me it is the EXACT same vaccine we give our pets that costs $30 at the vets. I also needed a HRIG (Human rabies immune globulin) shot too.

That was the reaaallly expensive one at about $10k. It is administered only once, at the beginning to previously unvaccinated persons. It basically provides immediate antibodies until the body can respond to the vaccine by actively producing antibodies of its own.


u/parttimeamerican 5d ago

I'm walking to the vets and getting that one lmao


u/8_800_555_35_35 5d ago

It's the HRIG that's the most expensive and the vets won't have that.

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u/Charonx2003 5d ago edited 5d ago

I recently inquired my doctor regarding vaccination against rabies (in case I wanted to travel to a country with higher rabies occurrences)

~200$... in total. And my insurance does not contribute a penny here.

Looking at the 20k it would cost in the US (for a medically necessary thing instead of my "Oh, maybe I'll get vaccinated" inquiry) - the US system is insane - it is designed to make you literally(!) choose between your money or your life


u/Echo-42 5d ago

It is designed to make private actors as fucking rich as fucking possible, and it's possible because the US let money take over the politics and now they have a bribe-infested system the people can't/won't overturn. If people die along the way that's unlucky, but they were poor anyway so it doesn't matter.

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u/callmecarlpapa 5d ago

I gotta find me a Better Call Saul veterinarian for this worst case scenario

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u/thebestmodesty 5d ago

Wait a second that amount is BIZARRE. I just checked and in india it costs upto 2000rs, which is… 24 fucking dollars

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u/shadowyassassiny 5d ago

my mom refuses to vaccinate her dogs against rabies. regardless of how uncommon rabies is in the US, this is why i still disagree with her - something so terrible shouldn’t be up to an individual


u/Sangy101 5d ago edited 4d ago

To keep rabies rates as low as they are, the CDC recommends 70% vaccination for area dogs.

You would be surprised how hard that rate is to achieve. It’s one of those “we’re inches away from losing herd immunity” things.

Edit: to clear up some confusion— it’s required almost everywhere in the US and Europe. But there are still feral and unregistered dogs that count against the total.


u/TalkQuick 5d ago

Do a lot of people just not take their dogs to the vet? I don’t even remember being asked besides being told he’s due for all his shots and them giving me the paperwork afterward with rabies shot listed as one of them


u/RussiaIsBestGreen 5d ago

Fortunately shelters will do it automatically (at least from what I’ve seen personally), but there are the puppies from neighborhood dogs that no one thinks to bring in, strays, and of course the people who are neglectful. It is still strange to think that what seems like a low bar can be hard to clear.

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u/daabilge 5d ago

There's a couple reasons I see people not do them.. we have some dog antivaxxers in our practice that only seem to come in for sick visits, interestingly the "wholistic" breeder is a major source of parvo cases for us, second only to recently adopted petland and Amish pets. There's a chunk of the dog community that seems to have forgotten the parvo epizootic in the early 80's and believes we're "overvaccinating" animals for profit. There's a few holistic practitioners in my area (and one chiropractor) that push titers on this line (which is silly, the titers cost between 80-220 each and some of them aren't really validated for vaccine status confirmation, the shot is $25 and actually provides protection..)

There's some people who only really ever bring their pet to the vet when they're sick and don't believe in preventative care or think it's a scam. I had a cat last week that came in because it had pneumonia from calicivirus, it had last been seen in 2013. Fun fact, calicivirus is in the feline core vaccine (it's the "C" in FVRCP). I've also started seeing distemper in my area again (it's common in the wildlife, especially raccoons) which is frustrating because that's a core vaccine in dogs and had become rare in companion animals thanks to the vaccine.

And the one that really scares me was when I worked for a walk-in clinic, I'd get dogs that had only ever gotten their puppy shots and needed their post-bite release exam and rabies vaccine from the dog warden. I had one family with a rottie that ONLY ever went to the vet for post-bite release, and it was their third time through when I saw them. They rolled their eyes when I tried to discuss behavior management or the fact that the dog was dangerously obese.

But fun/wildly depressing fact, the only way to test for rabies is by examining the brain under a microscope, so if the dog warden requires an unvaccinated dog that bit someone to be rabies tested, we have to submit the head.. which can't really be done on a living patient. I've had to do a few of those.

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u/TopAd9634 5d ago

You should send her the copypasta from above. Scared the hell out of me, and I know how the disease works.. Might shake your mom's mind up and convince her.

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u/Boring-Vast-9711 5d ago

They do oral rabies vaccination of wildlife both in the US and the EU. They throw pieces of meat with a vaccine in them from planes over forests and other habitats of foxes, jackals and wolves. Thanks to that terrestrial rabies has become pretty rare. Unfortunately they can't do much about vaccinating bats.

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u/weeepingwillow 5d ago

Has she explained her reasoning? All vaccines or just rabies in particular?

That's really sad because ultimately the legal requirement for pets to get the rabies vaccine is really there to protect people. You can't know why your dog was sniffing and barking at that bush in the backyard yesterday, and because he's not an unfamiliar wild animal, you won't be thinking "omg rabies, I need to go to the hospital!" when he nips you a couple days later. By the time he worsens and you realize he's RABID, and not just being moody, you're as good as dead too...

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u/thisisa_bot 5d ago

Fuck your stupid ass mom. Take her dogs to get vaccinated behind her back. Let’s stop acting like idiots get to run things

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u/SprayArtist 5d ago

The pain in his eyes is so unbearable, poor guy.

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u/CrankyPelicans 5d ago

I forget, but it's too late once any symptoms appear right?


u/Urban-Junglist 5d ago

Correct. This guy is doomed


u/triclops6 5d ago


u/cauldron_bubble 5d ago

That scared the piss out of me; I can't imagine going out that way, or seeing someone go out like that!

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u/Luxara-VI 5d ago

Yes. Once symptoms appear it’s too late

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u/smallbutlazy 5d ago

There have been around 9 cases where people have recovered once symptoms start but yes its rare. I feel deeply uncomfortable and sad watching this video. It feels very exploitative. :(


u/SafetyJosh4life 5d ago

Just to add onto this, there was a time when we only had 9 cases of rabies survivors, I believe two of them were taken from old records predating modern medicine.

With modern medicine we have 14 confirmed cases where people have survived confirmed rabies. One of these people even managed to survive without a modern vaccine.

This disease realistically has a 100% mortality rate. Almost 60K humans die from this disease every single year. Even counting pre history and ancient history, it is unlikely that 25 people have survived this disease. The survival rate is so small that it is statistically insignificant.


u/Sangy101 5d ago

14 confirmed, clinical cases.

There is some WEIRD SHIT going on in remote parts of Peru where rabies is endemic. Lots of people die, but a truly astounding number of living people have rabies-neutralizing antibodies. Most of the people with the antibodies report past bat bites. There are also a number of studies that have found rabies-neutralizing antibodies in other traditionally vulnerable species.

It’s very bizarre, particularly since not all of them report getting sick post-bite. And the data isn’t good enough to really get any medically relevant information from these studies — but it appears that rabies is globally more complex than it seems. Still, given how rare these cases seem to be, it should be considered a near-universally fatal disease.



u/mmrrbbee 5d ago

Bats immune systems are crazy and generally kick the can down the road. Which makes things evolve, wonder if it is less deadly for those people

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u/kingqueefeater 5d ago

If that 60k/year stat checks out, you've just unlocked my newest irrational fear. I knew rabies was bad news, but I figured maybe 10 people a year die from it.


u/SafetyJosh4life 5d ago

CDC.gov gave me the statistic. But those are worldwide numbers for human deaths.

If you want a more fun phobia, research prions disease. TLDR; It’s like if cancer was slightly contagious and more quirky while being able to survive the high pressure steam used to sterilize surgical equipment. Obviously that’s a gross oversimplification, but welcome to a new level of fear, sweet dreams!


u/kingqueefeater 5d ago

Sorry, satan. I'm not reading past the letters "TLDR." Thank you though.

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u/coreysjill 5d ago

I recently read that prior to the AIDS epidemic, rabies was one of the top two diseases that killed the most people in the developing world, specifically China and India. I think the other was tuberculosis but I could be wrong. The fact that rabies was so prevalent messed me the fuck up. I had no idea.


u/vlad_the_impaler13 5d ago

The main reason that rabies is so prevalent in India and many of Asia and Africa is due to stray dogs and the inability of these nations to afford or effectively carry our anti rabies measures in wild dog populations or provide sufficient rabies vaccination access. While some places like China have more to do with large bat populations and wild animal consumption, the majority of cases are the result of dog bites. There is a certain baseline of rabies transmission that will be unavoidable in certain countries with large bat populations without ecological damage, but measures against stray dogs, education about animal bites and financial assistance to vaccine access are all steps that could help dramatically reduce rabies cases in humans and make it the rare zoological disease that it should be. Further substantial work on cures or treatments for those that have reached the point of symptoms is unfortunately not cost effective as a species, given only 1 (maybe a few others, data inconclusive) person has ever survived rabies without previously having a vaccine prior to onset of symptoms (a few more have had unsuccessful vaccinations but survived the onset).

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u/JCP1377 5d ago

Even then, the permanent brain damage from it caused many of those who survived to have to re-learn basic motor skills (walking, drinking, eating, speech, etc.). This is the one illness that I have zero qualms over people taking their own life as soon as they hear they've contracted it.

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u/krpink 5d ago

Yeah, I think there is some recent case where someone was saved. But it’s pretty much a death sentence once you have symptoms. So if ever in doubt, go get the rabies vaccine. And don’t touch wild animals

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u/3sheetstothewinf 5d ago

Few things in life are certain, but death from rabies is about as close it gets.

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u/calbearlupe 5d ago

I wonder how long it took for him to die afterwards.


u/PlagalByte 5d ago

Probably only a matter of days, a week tops. The next phase of the virus is very traumatic and usually requires fully restraining the patient so they don’t hurt themselves (or others). If they survive that phase after a few days, they pass into a more quiet stupor, eventually lapsing into a coma a day or two later before dying.


u/douknowiknow 5d ago

Christ why don't they just euthanize them


u/PlagalByte 5d ago

At this point they can pump the patient full of morphine to keep them as comfortable as possible before they pass, or induce the coma earlier. That way the doctor doesn’t have blood on their hands from a “murder,” however merciful.

Also worth mentioning that epidemiologists still study diseases like rabies in hope of finding a cure. You can bet that these patients are given the kindest drugs they can possibly receive and then are studied within an inch of their life for whatever little time they have left.

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u/relpmeraggy 5d ago

Dead man walking. Poor guy.


u/PhoenixRisingtw 5d ago edited 5d ago

“Dead man walking” comment is literally under every rabbies video. Went straight to look for it.

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u/HolyC4bbage 5d ago

No disease scares me as much as rabies. I've been terrified of it ever since watching Old Yeller in first grade.


u/sugareeblueskyz 5d ago

For me it was the movie Cujo. Rabies & Prions scare the shit out of me!

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u/--VANOS-- 5d ago Gold All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy Bravo! Starry Bless Up Mind Blown Doom

Ok I'll do the honors with the copypasta:

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.)


u/Shxzam 5d ago

Holy fuck this made me so uneasy. Definitely the most terrifying disease in my book.


u/maxdurden 5d ago

An especially scary and dark part of this: the comment at the end about not being able to afford the shots anymore.

The profit motive is literally keeping people from being able avoid dying like this.

A dystopia.


u/--VANOS-- 5d ago

Yeah, not my words, it's a copypasta, but I left that not necessary but still very real comment there on purpose cause that's the real thing.

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u/BGgungame 5d ago

This copy pasta leans a bit too much into fearmongering.

If you are to put rabies into actual numbers it becomes a lot less scary.

For instance the estimated yearly rabies deaths for the whole world are 59 000. Just to put that into perspective the estimated annual flu deaths are speculated to be between 290-650K.

Death from car accident are estimated at 1.35 million.

Out of those 59K about 20K are in India.

Many Western European countries are even considered rabies free.

And if you are in the USA and thinking “Well the US is such a big territory, we probably have a lot of rabies.” Well, not really, for the past 10 or so years there have been only 25 reported cases of human rabies deaths in the USA. And 7 of those were acquired from outside the USA from people visiting other countries.

So while one should take animal bites seriously, especially wild animal bites, your chances of getting rabies and dying from it is next to nothing compared to the dangers of getting in your car and dying in a fatal car crash.

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u/Darkfanged 5d ago

This world is messed up man rabies is fucking terrifying

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u/Sangy101 5d ago

Minor copypasta correction: many bats have co-evolved with lyssavirus, so it actually may not be in the “rage” stage. Bats are such a common reservoir precisely because many don’t get sick or die.

This is why if you have ANY contact with a bat, you should get a rabies vaccine. Wake up and fine one in your house? GET IT.

But it is also VERY UNLIKELY a bat that ISNT trapped will bite you.

And even though bats are the scary one, because you might not know you’ve been bitten and therefor can’t get vaccinated in time (if you are vaccinated in time, you’ll live) the majority of cases happen in Africa and Asia and are almost entirely from dogs.

Bats are cool :)


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u/extopico 5d ago

Aren’t they also running pretty hot? The high temperature is also what keeps most viruses from replicating.

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u/--VANOS-- 5d ago

Nice correction 👌


u/Jurydeva 5d ago

We had one in our house that came in through the chimney when I was a kid. It was flying over our heads for a good 10 minutes before we all were like “is there a ghost in here or something?” We caught it in a jar somehow and it died there. We never got shots, and it’s gods mercy that nothing happened.

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u/gingernila 5d ago

Saving this comment and framing it in all our vet exam rooms for the pet owners that want to give their dogs essential oils instead of rabies vaccines


u/Sp0ntaneous 5d ago

The real mvp

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u/KalciumBoi 5d ago

Thank you, I never really knew anything about this virus, so this shocked me a lot. But I appreciate the information and your efforts for writing this!


u/Harde5tButton2Button 5d ago

It's a copypasta, this was written years ago and gets copied and pasted around

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u/Thisisnotmyusrname 5d ago

Was waiting for this, one of the best Copypasta's I've seen. Always gets me. Ty

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u/PlutoniumIngot- 5d ago

if I ever get rabies I’m getting high and shooting myself


u/sassyseconds 5d ago

It starts so slow. You won't even know it until it's probably too late for you to have the sense to do this. That little headache you had a couple days ago may have been the start.


u/EfficientSeaweed 5d ago

Nah, it turned into bronchitis instead so I'm good 🫠

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u/HelloThisIsPam 5d ago

This is so sad. The most deadly virus in the world, and only four people in the history of rabies has ever survived it. Three were completely incapacitated afterwards, and one girl made a kind of OK recovery. She’s still alive.

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u/Jersey1633 5d ago

Of all the things that can kill you in Australia, I’m super stoked that Rabies isn’t one of them.

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u/Sprinkles_Sparkle 5d ago

It’s so sad bc u can tell he wants to drink it! I wonder why Rabies makes you afraid of water! So strange!


u/MoonieNine 5d ago

Not afraid. "Hydrophobia results from pharyngeal muscle spasms that make it difficult for a rabies victim to swallow. For that reason, rabies doesn't necessarily cause hydrophobia, but rather, the fear and inability to swallow makes rabies victims avoid drinking water and swallowing saliva." So imagine being so thirsty, but every time you try to drink, your throat closes up.


u/That_Method3166 5d ago

Geez that sounds so awful . I didn’t even know rabies was like that and fatal . I always thought that if you get rabies there is a vaccine for it so you won’t die but I’ve been unaware of the symptoms and how fatal it is


u/CoffeeChans 5d ago

If you're exposed to rabies, drop everything and do whatever it takes to get the vaccine right that minute. Once symptoms appear there's nothing they can do for you.


u/yourmomsinmybusiness 5d ago

I remember hearing years ago that the vaccine was 21 shots in the stomach? Is/was that true?


u/huskeya4 5d ago

It used to be. There’s a newer vaccine that I think is like three or four shots in the stomach? We got warned about it when I was overseas because we had a lot of stray cats on base. Never stopped us from petting them though.


u/therealnotrealtaako 5d ago

You can get shots in the arm now I believe.

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u/FullTorque420 5d ago

My co-worker got 8 shots in her stomach on two separate occasions. So I think it is 16? She was attacked by a pack of rabid dogs.

Edit to add: seems the treatment is MUCH better now! https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/rabies.html

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u/Garlic-Rough 5d ago

In addition, rabies only prefer to be submitted via saliva. The virus reprograms your neural system to reject liquids going down the throat so you don't accidentally swallow saliva.


u/MoonieNine 5d ago

And... as to why rabid animals become aggressive: "A new study shows how a small piece of the rabies virus can bind to and inhibit certain receptors in the brain that play a crucial role in regulating the behavior of mammals. This interferes with communication in the brain and induces frenzied behaviors that favor the transmission of the virus."

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u/Starfire2313 5d ago

Because it ‘wants’ the saliva to be able to spread?


u/earthlingshe 5d ago

Yes. Not being able to swallow ensures that the virus has a higher rate of surviving and spreading. It's fucked.

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u/Additional_Country33 5d ago

It’s incontrollable spasms from your infected central nervous system

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u/CarboniteSecksToy 5d ago

So couldn’t he just get an IV line to push the fluids or is that even an exercise in futility at this point?


u/thegigglesnort 5d ago

At that point there's no going back - rabies only shows symptoms when it's infected your nervous system.


u/Garlic-Rough 5d ago

rabies doesn't travel through blood. It travels via nervous system. So if you get bit, you can still get vaccinated asap because it travels really slow - sometimes takes years before reaching the brain esp if bit on lower extremities


u/Agile-Egg-5681 5d ago

I like most people reading this got understandably nervous. So I searched what “sometimes” actually means.

The WHO says that most cases have incubation of 2-3 months, with rare cases as early as 1 week and as late as 1 year (see Prevention > Symptoms).


Furthermore the university of pennsylvania said it was in 1-3% of cases that incubation was more than 6 months (see Clinical Description).



u/CarboniteSecksToy 5d ago

That is truly terrifying and fascinating. It’s been a while since I’ve read anything about rabies and I’ve never seen this before!

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u/Into-It_Over-It 5d ago

The most terrifying part of this video is that we are watching a ghost. Unless this was shot 30 minutes ago, this poor bastard is no longer with us.

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u/BabserellaWT 5d ago

Isn’t death pretty much assured once they get to this point?

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u/wawallace80s 5d ago

What would happen with IV fluids? Would they help at all or is it not enough/not worth it due to the other symptoms?


u/--VANOS-- 5d ago

They'd help him die ever so slightly less horrifically over the next day or two.

End stage rabies the patient is overcome with confusion and terror and as soon as the first symptom occurs its fatal and there is zero cure.

I would hazard a hot take at rabies being the worst naturally occurring thing I've ever heard about.

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u/Puppy_of_Doom 5d ago

Nope. If I ever get rabies, send me out doing something cool. Like getting shot strapped to a rocket while riding a shark into a volcano


u/Cannabisreviewpdx_ 5d ago

The mental image of a rabid man foaming at the mouth, wearing a Evel Knievel helmet, getting shot into a volcano is absolutely hilarious to me.

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u/PaulLee420 5d ago

Gosh darn - so.. I think I got all my vaccines and shots when I was a youngster, but... I haven't seen medical pro's since 18. Do I need to go get poked and prodded?


u/bubblybee91 5d ago

The rabies shot is not given normally to children so even if you got the normal set of shots you probably did not get it for rabies. You only need it if you have been bitten/scratched by a wild mammal or an unvaccinated pet. If this happens you go to the doctor and they asses the risk of that animal having rabies. If the risk is high enough you will get the shot. It is very important to go to the doctor immediately after contact with the animal. Do not wait it out. Once symptoms appear-3 weeks or more after the contact(it can vary) there is nothing more that can be done, death is guranteed.

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u/maximum_somewhere22 5d ago

No! Only if you are travelling into an area with rabies. Then yes absolutely. You’ll want to not do it, because it’s expensive af. But just watch the video again and you’ll be reminded why you gotta do it.

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u/OddBlueberry6 5d ago

That poor man. I feel so bad for him.


u/pokkopop 5d ago

This is so sad, poor man. For cases like this, euthanasia should be allowed to be chosen with no questions asked

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u/PrestigiousWaffles 5d ago

There is a theory that rabies is the basis for the vampire myth. Imagine seeing a guy afraid of water with a hypersensitivity to light who is overtly aggressive and may try to bite you, thus infecting you.

Rabies are in my opinion only second to brain eating amoebas as the worst way to go


u/WerewolfHowls 5d ago

I cannot imagine being so horrifically thirsty but unable to drink. You can't have it in your mouth, your body rejects it like a poison, but you're horrifically thirsty.

Honestly just gimme an overdose. If I am too far gone, just give me a little too much pain med in my IV and let me go. Because waiting to become a thrashing mess whose every waking moment is terror and pain until my brain is destroyed by the virus finally letting me die. Take me out before then man. Have some empathy.

Heck put me in a coma and keep me there so I don't know I'm dying. I will accept that too. But it would be kinder to just over dose into a warm fuzzy death instead of a horrifically thirsty, terrified mess.


u/999-XO 5d ago

poor guy...


u/MenaBeast 5d ago

Poor guy. What an insane reaction. RIP Mr.


u/waitingformygrave 5d ago

Dumb question here - is it possible for doctors to give the man IV nutrients, fluids, pain/sleep meds akin to palliative care? Or will that prolong the suffering?


u/Thatguywritethere45 5d ago

Not a dumb question at all. Honestly, you could do all of those things, but he’d still suffer because most of it is neurological - brain included. Typically the worst of it lasts a week, give or take, and it’s 100% fatal per the WHO.

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u/ElPolloPayaso 5d ago

The scary part is, he’s already dead by now.