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knotheadsrus
05-16-2012, 03:30 AM
I need to have a character bitten by a dog... in the 1800's before rabies vaccine was invented. I need him to get sick...I want them to fear he has contracted rabies.. but as he is a key character i do not want him to actually have it. Distemper in dogs can make the animal act as if it had rabies..but what would give the human similar symptoms and be treatable in the early 1800s?

From what i understand, even with rabies symptoms would not start to show for at least 2 weeks after the initial bite (some times longer... but i am using two weeks) And of course rabies is fatal 100percent of the time even now if symptoms occur... so cant have that be the real disease.

thank you for any help you can give me.

This is a 15 year old boy in the 1800's Los Angeles.

Kerosene
05-16-2012, 03:34 AM
The Flu.

Your welcome.

thothguard51
05-16-2012, 03:41 AM
The mumps...

knotheadsrus
05-16-2012, 03:43 AM
thank you.

I wondered about that but was afraid that flu would have been the doctor's first thought. I need it to be what it eventually is...but rabies be first thought.

how did they treat flu back then? obviously it was before antibiotics. Rest, fluids, and time?

thank you again for your quick response. It really helps

knotheadsrus
05-16-2012, 03:44 AM
Mumps? I never thought of that one. I will have to research that.
Thank you so much for your help!

Kerosene
05-16-2012, 03:49 AM
thank you.

I wondered about that but was afraid that flu would have been the doctor's first thought. I need it to be what it eventually is...but rabies be first thought.

how did they treat flu back then? obviously it was before antibiotics. Rest, fluids, and time?

thank you again for your quick response. It really helps

There is no treatment for the flu. It's one of the most dangerous, highly evolving viruses on the face of the planet. And we all catch it every year...

frimble3
05-16-2012, 05:50 AM
And if it was a strange dog who then ran off, so they couldn't tell if it has rabies, and the victim or a witness declared that it was 'acting funny', the doctor might be worried about rabies, regardless of the kid's symptoms.

James D. Macdonald
05-16-2012, 06:37 AM
The differential for rabies is:


Differential diagnosis of furious rabies includes:


Delirium tremens: chronic alcohol misuse and sudden abstinence, signs of hepatic injury (spider naevi, flapping tremor, gynaecomastia, collateral circulation, etc).
Reaction to some hard drugs (crack, speed). This occurs more often in some large cities.
Strychnine poisoning. This plant product suppresses nerve impulse inhibition and thus causes convulsions. All types of sensory stimuli can cause convulsions. Consciousness is clear if no asphyxia has occurred. It is sometimes used as a rodent poison. If the patient survives the first 24-hours, the prognosis is good. In the event of death, the rapid onset of rigor mortis is characteristic.
Acute psychosis and hysteria. Very common in developing countries. Hysteria: no hydrophobia if the patient is unaware of the existence of this sign.
Tetanus (http://www.itg.be/itg/distancelearning/lecturenotesvandenendene/28_Tetanus.htm): portal of entry, trismus, muscle stiffness, convulsions on sudden stimulus, clear consciousness, mostly shorter incubation, no encephalitis, clear CSF.
Bacterial meningitis: lumbar puncture. Note that several organisms can cause lymphocytic pleiocytosis (Brucella, Listeria, Treponema pallidum (syphilis), Borrelia, tuberculosis, Coxiella burnetii, various rickettsiae, etc.). Various fungi, sarcoidosis, auto-immune diseases (S.L.E.) with cerebral vasculitis etc. can sometimes produce abnormal cerebrospinal fluid.
Cerebral abscess. As a result of septic emboli (subacute bacterial endocarditis) or from penetration of a collection of pus (sinus, middle ear, etc.). Cerebral toxoplasmosis is common in AIDS.
Viral encephalitis due to herpes simplex or an arbovirosis such as Japanese encephalitis, West Nile fever, tick-borne encephalitis (Russian Spring-Summer meningo-encephalitis) or Venezuelan equine encephalitis. There are no lucid periods and no typical spasms. For arboviral infections, serology is important. Infections with Herpes virus B (Herpes simiae virus) are rare. This virus can be transmitted via a bite, scratch or via body fluids from an infected monkey. Mucocutaneous lesions and encephalitis can follow inoculation. Acyclovir can be tried in treatment, but the infection provokes dramatic neurological symptoms.
Cerebral malaria (Plasmodium falciparum)
Post rabies-vaccination encephalitis if vaccination has been given with the old vaccines.
Bite of a cobra or other elapid snake: saliva will dribble out ouf the mouth as a result of throat paralysis (not from spasms). Ptosis, swelling, pain and tissue injury at the site of the bite.



Nothing was treatable in the early 1800s. The only effective treatments consisted of supporting the patient until his/her own immune system either cured him...or didn't. Not that anyone at the time knew what an immune system was. The germ theory of disease wouldn't be advanced for another half-century, and holdouts against the germ theory were still practicing medicine as late as the early 20th century.

Not that lack of effective treatments stopped folks from trying, sometimes with horrific treatments that quite literally were worse than the diseases.

For your book ... consider the patient was bitten by an unknown dog, but is actually suffering from strychnine poisoning. Possibly from a home remedy for the dog bite?

BAY
05-16-2012, 06:57 AM
OP,

I think back in that time 30 days was minimal time to see if rabies evolved. I've read of special rooms built to house kids while their family endured the waiting time.

Malaria would be a good mimic but I'm not sure that happens in LA.

backslashbaby
05-17-2012, 01:20 AM
I was thinking of medicinal or herbal toxicity symptoms, yeah. Would it make sense that he could have ingested something, too? Some of them just wear off if they aren't toxic enough to kill the person. It can take several days to a couple of weeks to get better.

debirlfan
05-17-2012, 06:25 AM
I think you can make the kid sick with anything and have it work.

Think about it - kid gets bit by strangely acting dog (shoot, maybe the dog is foaming at the mouth - but because someone poisoned it, not because it's rabid) - perhaps kid has seen someone else die of rabies, or perhaps he just hears the adults whispering about how he's going to die.

Kid gets sick - could be the flu, mumps, reaction to some remedy they've given him - doesn't really matter, the minute he starts feeling ill he's going to think it's rabies and he'll probably start acting as if it is (power of suggestion.)

When the kid doesn't die, eventually they figure out it's not rabies. Maybe even after awhile the dog shows up and is fine - or someone admits to poisoning it.

Fenika
05-18-2012, 01:54 AM
There is an aptly named pseudorabies. But swine get it and it wasnt common in the US until later. So where is your story and can it be an escaped pig instead?

Otherwise, keep in mind there is a dumb form of rabies that would have a few of its own differentials. A family who went camping found out it wasnt a good idea to stick their heads in a wild cougars mouth just because it was standing around oblivious to the world. It was later confirmed positive for rabies. Go parents.

Canotila
05-18-2012, 10:41 PM
There is an aptly named pseudorabies. But swine get it and it wasnt common in the US until later. So where is your story and can it be an escaped pig instead?

Otherwise, keep in mind there is a dumb form of rabies that would have a few of its own differentials. A family who went camping found out it wasnt a good idea to stick their heads in a wild cougars mouth just because it was standing around oblivious to the world. It was later confirmed positive for rabies. Go parents.

Wait. What? Somebody actually was stupid enough to do that?

Fins Left
05-18-2012, 10:51 PM
A family who went camping found out it wasnt a good idea to stick their heads in a wild cougars mouth just because it was standing around oblivious to the world. It was later confirmed positive for rabies. Go parents.
Darwin to the rescue!

StephanieFox
05-20-2012, 04:44 AM
Reply to one comment about the flu:

The flu isn't "most dangerous...viruses on the face of the planet." The flu strain that's around now is probably the same strain that caused the 1918 epidemic, but because we're all be exposed, it's only seriously dangerous to those with weakened immune systems. I'm not sure what strain of flu was around before 1918, when your story takes place.

James D. Macdonald
05-21-2012, 03:00 AM
While 19th century doctors didn't have a lot in their bags for treatment, they tended to be really good at clinical diagnosis. No way they'd mistake mumps for rabies. They saw plenty of mumps. Same with the flu. Flu symptoms don't resemble rabies in the slightest.

Most of the things on the differential for rabies are seriously life-threatening all on their own.

Fenika
05-21-2012, 05:57 AM
Wait. What? Somebody actually was stupid enough to do that?

Yes. A whole family of someones. I'm betting the state tax dollars covered their post exposure treatments x.x


Darwin to the rescue!

They lived. x.x

Maybe next time they'll stumble upon an animal with furious rabies.

Nightingale
05-21-2012, 06:16 AM
Seizures can cause frothing at the mouth

Pyekett
05-21-2012, 06:18 AM
And of course rabies is fatal 100percent of the time even now if symptoms occur...

Not quite (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/california-girl-us-survive-rabies/story?id=13830407). The odds aren't great, but the Milwaukee medical center may be improving them.

blacbird
05-21-2012, 08:02 AM
There is no treatment for the flu. It's one of the most dangerous, highly evolving viruses on the face of the planet. And we all catch it every year...

Tens of thousands of Americans die from influenza every year. And it makes next to no news.

caw

Nightingale
05-23-2012, 06:55 AM
Tens of thousands of Americans die from influenza every year. And it makes next to no news.

caw

Of course not! That would prove that the flu shot the gov't produces and sells to the consumer (or experiments on the consumer) is bullshit and worthless...js...

James D. Macdonald
05-23-2012, 08:25 AM
Of course not! That would prove that the flu shot the gov't produces and sells to the consumer (or experiments on the consumer) is bullshit and worthless...js...


The flu kills between 10,000 and 40,000 people in the USA every year.

Very few of them among the population that got their annual flu shot.

Therefore, not getting the immunization every year is both foolish and irresponsible.


See:

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/general/news/oct2908ontario.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2540274/

http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?volume=165&issue=3&page=265

Nightingale
05-30-2012, 07:42 AM
The flu kills between 10,000 and 40,000 people in the USA every year.

Very few of them among the population that got their annual flu shot.

Therefore, not getting the immunization every year is both foolish and irresponsible.


See:

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/general/news/oct2908ontario.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2540274/

http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?volume=165&issue=3&page=265

And do you have any idea how many children we saw in the office last year that had the flu shot, on time, and STILL got type B flu? Over 75%...js

Buffysquirrel
05-30-2012, 03:20 PM
I think it depends who you want to have think the kid might have rabies, the doctor, the kid, or the parents. People are often convinced the doctor is wrong. Sometimes of course the doctor is wrong.

If the boy was bitten by a dog then it seems reasonable for the parents and/or the boy to fear he might have rabies, even if the doctor is saying it's not. You can easily give the doctor a personality that fuels this fear--they're remote, don't give information, but just rely on their standing and expertise rather than explaining why the symptoms simply don't add up to rabies. I've had GPs who'd talk to you, show you stuff on the screen, let you rifle through your records, and GPs who wouldn't answer even the simplest questions that they didn't deem worthy of a response.

If the boy has a high fever he might become delirious and in that state could refuse water. I know when I had a 'virus infection of some kind' (clinical diagnosis, that!), I could not eat a thing. I couldn't even be in the same room with food I could smell. If he refuses water or displays an aversion to it because of delirium, that could definitely fuel the parents' fears.