Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Hydrophobia (Rabies), a disease of the canine tribe which sometimes affects man. When it occurs in the human subject it is usually the result of the bite of a rabid dog; symptoms do not, as a rule, appear until the lapse of several weeks (sometimes months), after the injury. There is usually some pain at the site of the wound, the patient becomes feverish, and after a while the characteristic symptom, disinclination to swallow fluids, becomes developed; the patient becomes excited, his condition resembling that of acute mania; the throat is inflamed, and repeated attempts to expectorate the viscid saliva which exudes into the mouth are made. Any attempt to swallow produces a spasm of the muscles concerned in that action, or even general convulsions, the pulse becomes quick, the patient feebler, and the disease terminates in death in two or three days. M. Pasteur succeeded in protecting animals from rabies by preventive inoculation. By injecting the virus into rabbits, then subsequently removing their spinal cords and drying these, he succeeded in obtaining a mitigated poison; the longer the spinal cord is dried, the less virulent it becomes. Such weakened material is found to possess the power of protecting an animal against the effects of inoculation with the more virulent poison. Pasteur achieved considerable success in applying this method to the treatment of persons who have been bitten by rabid dogs.