Although most of the diseases that affect dogs can’t be transmitted to people, some dogs in Nepal carry rabies and other diseases that are dangerous to humans.
Rabies is a serious viral infection that is spread between dogs and other animals in Nepal and many other countries around the world. Rabies is an infection caused by a virus which affects the nervous system and the brain. It is usually transmitted in the saliva of animals who are already infected. In people and other animals, once symptoms appear, the disease results in death.
Worldwide, only a handful of human beings have ever survived rabies after the onset of symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs of rabies can appear days, weeks, or even months after the subject is exposed to the virus. Symptoms vary, but generally include unusual behavior. A strange intense stare is common, as well as aggressive behavior, restlessness, and anxiety. Rabid dogs often bite anything near them, including the bars of a cage and even water poured towards them. In later stages, rabid animals have difficulty swallowing and may have saliva dripping from their mouths.
In Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal, bites from stray dogs are the most common way that people get rabies. Scratches from infected dogs can also transfer the rabies virus. Monkeys, who may be a source of human rabies infections, are commonly found around some temples in the Kathmandu area, especially Swoyambhunath and Pashupatinath. In other parts of the world, raccoons, bats, foxes, and coyotes are common sources of the virus.