Why does rabies make people hydrophobic?



Why does rabies make people hydrophobic?

In: Biology

It just does. It destroys (early on) parts of your brain that control emotions so they no longer work properly and you live in a state of constant agitation, fear , sleeplessness…

*Why* is because it makes your saliva thicker and stickier. That’s what causes the foaming of the mouth associated with rabies. The thicker saliva holds more virus, so it spreads better.

*How* partially involves just eating holes in your brain that make you irrational and dislike water. It also causes loss of control over your muscles and often painful muscle spasms. This very much includes muscles in your throat.

It begins with difficulty swallowing, so you kind of feel like you’re choking when you try to drink water. As it progresses, the spasms make it impossible to swallow. It’s also very painful. So trying to drink water makes you feel like you’re choking and drowning, while you’re also becoming more paranoid, delusional, and irrational.

Eventually, just *looking* at water causes your throat to spasm in anticipation of drinking – by this point you’re horribly thirsty, your body demanding that you drink the water in front of you, but your rotten brain is panicking at the choking and painful spasms in your throat.

When you drink water there are many muscles working together to get the water down to your stomach. In encephalitic rabies you begin to have spasms (severe, involuntary contractions) of your muscles and the spasms can be triggered when you try to use the muscle. In rabies, when you try to drink water the muscles in your throat begin to spasm as they try to move the water down to your stomach and the water won’t go down. Your wind pipe (trachea) and esophagus initially share the same tube, the pharynx, so you also can’t get air into your wind pipe to breathe until the spasms stop. To make it worse, the spasms don’t just stop the second you stop trying to swallow, so it can be minutes before you can breathe again. This creates an intense fear of swallowing. Eventually, just the thought of swallowing can cause the spasms to happen.

Though rarer, you can also get the same thing when you try to breathe. The muscles in the pharynx can spasm when air his them so air can’t get into the lungs. The diaphragm can also spasm. Your lungs at baseline want to be small with no air in them but the diaphragm, a muscle at the bottom of the lungs, helps to keep your lungs from collapsing and having no air. Breathing in, inhalation, occurs because your diaphragm contacts and pulls the lungs open. This creates a vacuum in the lungs and air rushes into the lungs to fill the vacuum.When the diaphragm relaxes, the lungs can go back to their preferred form, empty, and the air is pushed up into the pharynx then out your nose or mouth. The entire goal of breathing is to get oxygen in the body and carbon dioxide out of the body. Spasms of the diaphragm keep you from doing either of these and you begin to suffocate. People have died from the spasms of the diaphragm.

Hope that is clear.

What does rabies look like under a microscope?

Not an answer to your question, but FYI: if you suspect having been bit by a rabies infested animal, wash the wound with preferably green soap and water (if not possible any other soap/detergent available) for like 15 minutes and contact the nearest hospital/doctor to get vaccinated!! Even when you’re already vaccinated you still need 1 or 2 vaccins after being bit!!

Source: a tropical diseases specialist doctor who vaccinated me when i went to Indonesia for 6 months to work with wildlife and dogs.

I always think of [THIS STORY](https://www.reddit.com/r/copypasta/comments/7qwtd5/rabies_is_scary/) when someone mentions rabies. Holy lord fuck that’s fucked up.