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Rabies


Obviously, Rabies is not a cave disease. It is very common, found in 150 countries of the the World. Humans are most likely infected by the saliva of an infected dog or cat. A bite or scratch can allow the virus to enter the body. If not treated the disease is almost always fatal. There is no treatment, but there is a vaccine which is strongly recommended for people working in the forests and on the fields. This vaccine also works after the infection, but once the symptoms of rabies have developed it is too late.

There are an estimated 55,000 cases of rabies each year, most of them in the third world. Half of them occur in India. The few cases in developed countries are generally cause by a bite of a wild animal.

And this last point is the reason why some consider rabies a cave disease. Bats may carry rabies, as they are mammals. Bats across northern Europe may be infected by one of two strains of rabies-like viruses known as European Bat Lyssaviruses (EBLVs) 1 and 2. However, the chance to get infected is considered extremely low. In any case direct contact to bats is necessary. Researchers working with bat might consider vaccination and the use of protective clothes. Cave visitors should simply avoid to touch bats.


See also


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