Rabies is a viral disease. It takes about 4 to 12 weeks for symptoms to form. The initial signs of rabies is a fever, muscle weakness, and tingling. If it gets worse you will get insomnia, anxiety, confusion, agitation, hallucinations, excess salivation, problems swallowing, and a fear of water. Rabies affects the nervous system, and it can be lethal in some cases, and it is chronic.
After being exposed to the rabies virus, you can have a series of injections to prevent an infection from setting in. Rabies immunoglobulin, which gives you an immediate dose of rabies antibodies to fight the infection, helps to prevent the virus from getting a foothold. Then, getting the rabies vaccine is the key to avoiding the disease. The rabies vaccine is given in a series of five shots over 14 days. Only about three cases of rabies are reported annually in the U.S.