Rabies virus. Computer artwork of a rabies virus, the cause of human rabies. This virus belongs to the rhabdovirus group of viruses. The rabies virus is bullet-shaped and around 200 nanometres in length. Its helical nucleocapsid consists of RNA (ribonucleic acid) genetic material within a protein coat or capsid (striped). Surrounding this is a lipoprotein envelope studded with surface proteins (yellow). Rabies (hydrophobia) is usually transmitted to humans through dog bites. Symptoms of fever, salivation, and throat spasms appear after an incubation period of up to a year. After this even the sight of water may cause convulsions and paralysis. Death occurs within a few days.
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