Researchers have revealed that the rabies virus could take a woman from distressing sexual symptoms to death in less than a week.
They cite the case of an Indian woman who told her doctor she had a sudden and persistent increase in her sex drive died four days later of rabies.
The 28-year-old had complained that she felt constantly aroused, sometimes with no stimulation at all.
Unable to find an explanation, the woman's physician and gynecologist referred her to the department of emergency medicine at the Sri Gokulam Hospital and Research Institute in Salem, Tamil Nadu.
They discovered that a small bite from a puppy two months earlier caused the disease.
Dogs are responsible for almost all of the rabies cases transmitted to humans worldwide. Vaccinating pets has nearly solved the problem of human rabies in the U.S., but the disease still threatens in the developing world.
Famous more for the symptomatic fear of water (actually a sign that the virus has paralyzed the swallowing muscles), rabies sometimes first shows up as unexplained hypersexuality, caused by the virus inflaming the brain. Unfortunately, by the time this symptom shows up, the disease is incurable.
Often people will say, 'Well, if I have any symptoms I'll go to the doctor,' said Peter Costa, the communications director for the Global Alliance for Rabies Control. But by then, Costa told LiveScience, it's too late.
If you've been bitten or suspect you've been licked or scratched by an infected animal, you should seek treatment within 24 hours, said Costa.
If you've been bitten, wash the wound with soap and water for about 10 minutes and then seek appropriate medical treatment, Costa advised.