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May 14, 1910


JAMA. 1910;LIV(20):1616. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550460030003

Rabies presents many puzzling problems besides that of its specific cause, for the entire behavior of the infection is in many ways quite different from that of other infectious diseases. The incubation period is unique both in its extremes of variability, from 14 days to as many months, and in the great length usually exhibited, from 8 to 12 weeks; the excessively long incubation periods reported in some cases with good authority, of from 12 to 38 months, are entirely without parallel in any other acute infectious disorder.

Another striking peculiarity recently emphasized by Paltauf1 is that whereas only a relatively small proportion of persons bitten by rabid animals develop the disease, yet once the disease does fully develop the termination is inevitably death, for there is no satisfactorily authenticated report of a recovery from fully developed rabies in man, although recovery has been observed in dogs.

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