If you haven’t seen the prequel yet The Hunger Games, The Ballad of Songbirds and SnakesWe recommend that you do not continue reading, as this article is full of spoilers necessary to talk about the pathogen that appears several times in the story: the rabies virus.

However, if you’ve read the book or already enjoyed the movie, which came out last Friday, November 17th, you know who he is. Jessup, male tribute district 12 at the tenth Hunger Games. Partner Lucy Gray, he strives to take care of her from the moment they are both chosen to fight in the arena. But for some seemingly strange reason, a moment comes when he turns against the young woman and, like the rest of the fighters, trying to kill her.

Coriolanus Snowwho is watching everything from the other side of the cameras, discovers that Jessup infected with rabies virus. So he asks the boy’s mentor to send him some water. It may seem innocent, but it is an ideal strategy to combat this disease. So why are you making this decision? And just as importantly, what other clues about the rabies virus can be found in the plot?

Fury in the prequel The Hunger Games

Coriolanus realizes that Jessup is going rabid after seeing him mouth full of foam, trying to attack Lucy Gray. At this point, he remembers Lucy telling him that her partner was bitten by a bat during a trip to the Capitol. Everything fits. But why?

To begin with, because the bats They are one of the main carriers of the rabies virus. In fact, in USA They are considered the main cause of death from this pathogen.

As for foam, this is a common symptom in animals and people with rabies. This is because the virus is attacking nervous system their guests, changing it ability to swallow. Because of this, saliva accumulates in the mouth and acquires a foam-like consistency. It should be noted that rabies is not the only disease that causes this symptom. But it is quite representative. Essentially a prequel The Hunger Games It already begins with the scene in which mad Dog, with foam dripping from the mouth, perhaps to leave the idea in the viewer’s mind.

But the foam and the bat bite aren’t the only signs of Jessup’s disease that appear in the film. The first hint that there is something more comes when he and Lucy Gray are hiding under the sand and she, seeing that he is getting worse and worse, tries to give him puddle water for him to drink. He not only She rejectsbut aggressively opposes him.

We have already seen that the rabies virus attacks the nervous system. Essentially, host manipulation is achieved to facilitate the spread of the virus. And this is achieved in several ways. One of them calls hydrophobia or, what is the same thing, an aversion to water. If you drink water, your saliva will be diluted and contain fewer viral particles, making it more difficult to spread the virus through a bite. Therefore, patients they reject water and they even seem scared.

And now we come to Jessup’s next attention-grabbing feature: violence. Despite being a great friend to Lucy Gray and even taking a bat bite to protect her, there comes a time when he attacks her and tries to kill her. This is because the rabies virus also causes aggressive behavior in its hosts. Thus, it is easier for them to attack healthy individuals and infect them through bites.

The bat is one of the main animals that transmit the rabies virus to humans. Photo: Sonia Nadales (Unsplash)

Incubation too fast?

There may be just one flaw in the way the rabies virus is portrayed in the film’s prequel. The Hunger Games. And, in fact, Jessup gets sick pretty quickly.

Typically, the rabies virus takes 2 to 3 months to incubate, although it is true that there are extreme cases, described above and below, in which it can a week or a year.

Although more time passes in the book, in the film the tributes only spend a couple of days in the cage before heading out to fight in the arena. Jessup’s attack occurs on the second day The Hunger Games. He got bitten during train ride from District 12 to Capitol and there is no mention in the work of the exact distance between one place and another. So we don’t know how much time he spends on the train.

This makes it difficult to determine the length of the incubation period from exposure to the virus to the onset of symptoms. But it is likely that it will be less than two months. Yes it could become about a week in totalso it wouldn’t be something so fictitious.

In any case, if this were the case, then there would be no problem either, since this is after all the plot of a series of books, and later a saga of films. Of course, a prequel The Hunger Games It has a lot of details, but little or no scientific evidence. But in fiction this can be forgiven.

Source: Hiper Textual

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