Vaccination : A Severe Viral Disease

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Introduction Disease has existed for as long as life has, but even the most primitive form of vaccination – variolation – was only invented around 1000 AD by the Chinese to cure smallpox (NHS, 2014). Since then, of course, vaccination has advanced tremendously and many diseases are now no longer a danger because of it. However there are still hundreds of diseases that cause trouble in the world despite vaccinations, and some diseases that have no vaccinations at all. Rabies (lyssavirus) is a severe viral disease that affects the nervous system and is deadly if not treated. Fortunately, a vaccine does exist, created by Louis Pasteur in the 1880s (NHS, 2014) and improved in the 1960s, but still today over 55 000 people die of this disease…show more content…
The infected person could feel symptoms less than a week or over a year later (WHO, 2014), in the most extreme cases. Once the incubation period is over and enough of the virus has been replicated, it uses neurons in the peripheral nervous system and exploits axonal transport mechanisms so that it can eventually invade the central nervous system and reach its target – the brain (Gluska, S. 2014). Once in the central nervous system rabies causes acute brain inflammation, causing psychosis and extreme aggression (n.p. 2014). It then travels back through the peripheral nervous system, eventually concentrating in the salivary glands to be transmitted to the next victim. Because of the concentration in these glands, most victims suffer excruciating pain upon swallowing and develop a fear of liquids (Health Central, 2014). The vaccine Rabies is lethal nearly 100% of the time if left untreated, and in the past it was extremely dangerous, having been documented as early as 2300 BC in Babylonia (A Rabies-Free World Inc, 2010). Fortunately in the 1880s Louis Pasteur created the first rabies vaccine. The vaccine was originally harvested from infected rabbits, but in 1967 the human diploid cell rabies vaccine was started. Unlike many vaccines, the rabies vaccine is usually administered post-exposure to prevent the development of clinical rabies after introduction of the virus, but it can also be administered pre-exposure if the person is at a high risk of contracting the
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