The Rabies Virus And Treatment Essay

1339 words - 5 pages

Rabies Virus and Treatment

Rabies is a virus that is characterized under the family name Rhabdoviridae and genus name Lyssavirus which travels to either the brain or the spinal cord, where it attacks a victim's nervous system until death occurs as discovered by Pasteur. It is rabies unique bullet-shaped body and tubular extensions, along with its specialized proteins that contribute to its deadliness.
Aside from one case of rabies that occurred in 2004 in Wisconsin, rabies has proven fatal; there is no real treatment besides prevention. Vaccinations and precaution serve to be most effective pre-exposure, while post-exposure treatment can be a combination of respiratory and cardiac support, and intensive care.
As part of the Rhabdovirus, Rabies is similar to 75 other viruses, but only closely related to 5, which are believed to have originated in Africa. Each year, around 7,000 cases of rabies are recorded according to an article for parents on Kids health website, but because of vaccinations, only one or two die. All, including Rabies virus, have a bullet shaped body accompanied by “bizarre elongated filaments V or Y shaped”(Kaplan, et al. 2). Once the rabid viruses infect the blood stream, they begin their migration to the brain where the virus begins to multiply effectively and abundantly in cerebral matter, producing defective interfering particles, as described in the book Rabies by Kaplan, Turner, and Warrell.
Like many other viruses, rabies has an excellent way of transmitting itself, allowing it to be efficient-saliva. While it is true that simple UV rays found in the sun can kill the virus in a dead body laying around, as well as acidity and soaps, because organic matter like soaps are able to dissolve the virus’ outside lipid layer, the rabid virus has the ability to live hidden without being noticed and living in saliva (Kaplan, et al. 3). The average life span of the virus in saliva is 24 hours, while its half life span is around 4 hours at 40 degrees Celsius (Kaplan, et al. 2). With this special power to live in saliva, the probability of being transmitted is increased dramatically; all it would take would be one simple bite or a bit of saliva to infect an open wound’s tissue, in order for a victim to be infected, and forever suffer the consequences.
A closer examination of Rabies under an electron microscope explains what exactly rabies is. The virus has a bullet-shape body with tubular extensions. It is approximately 180 nm long and 75 nm wide which encodes five proteins: nucleoprotein (N), phosphoprotein (P), matrix protein (M), glycoprotein (G), which forms approximately 400 trimetric spikes on the outside, and polymerase (L) (kids health paragraph 2). N protein forms the helical RNP, M protein is found in the viral envelope, L protein along with NS are necessary for RNA replication, while G protein is what makes the spikes on the outside which allows the
virus to stick to other cells. Recent research of G protein has...

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