Monday, April 21, 2003

Rabid

I may be rabid. I hope not, but there is always that possibility now that I have positively been bitten by my dog and wounded by the bite. I know what you�re thinking: wait a few days, see if Piolo (my dog) gets highly aggressive and foamy at the mouth. According to the American Center for Disease Control and other related websites, the observation period is ten days. Sadly, Piolo defines the world around him by what he can repeatedly sink his teeth into: slippers, furniture, his own manure, my arms and legs. Every time I get bitten, the observation period necessarily gets reset.

At the very least it's inconvenient; it's expensive and painful at worst. You steer clear of the dog for a week and a half; when you're unguarded, he jumps you. Wait ten more days. While I observe the dog, I must be careful about my hands and what they touch: sneezing into a hand may transfer contaminated mucus and similarly contaminated droplets of saliva onto it and possibly (because I live in a culture that takes meals and interacts with hands) onto other people. I dare not kiss my girlfriend or otherwise exchange fluids with her for fear of my becoming a vector. Anti-rabies inoculation (preventive post-exposure prophylaxis, they call it) costs a tidy sum and must be administered via muscle injection over a period of some twenty-eight days.

I do have a choice of not putting up with it, but the alternative is my having to suffer a very unpleasant death and infecting everyone around me while I'm at it, via the sharing of food and spittle.

'Ah,' you say. 'You should have had your dog inoculated against rabies.' Yes, I know. You don�t have to kick me as I'm already kicking myself.

It takes anywhere from ten to sixty days for rabies symptoms to manifest themselves in humans. When they do show, it's always too late. Wish me luck. See you in 60.

No comments: