The initial symptoms of rabies in humans are numbness at the wound site, fever, headache, and malaise, like at the onset of flu. These symptoms progress to general malaise, including anxiety, irritability, hydrophobia (fear of water), dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), muscle spasms, and difficulty breathing. Paralysis then occurs, and respiratory arrest or cardiac arrhythmias results in death. The disease is incurable once symptoms appear, with death generally occurring in the next 14 days.
If you think that you have been exposed to the rabies virus by contact with a domestic or wild animal, call Info-Santé as soon as possible at 8-1-1. You should also wash the bite with running water and soap for 10 to 15 minutes.