Clinical illness with laboratory confirmation of infection:
- detection of viral antigen in an appropriate clinical specimen, preferably the brain or the nerves surrounding hair follicles in the nape of the neck, by immunofluorescence OR
- isolation of rabies virus from saliva, cerebrospinal fluid or central nervous system tissue using cell culture or laboratory animal OR
- detection of rabies virus RNA by PCR in an appropriate clinical specimen
Clinical illness is characterized by acute encephalomyelitis (headache, fever, hydrophobia, delirium, convulstions, paralysis) progressing to coma and death.