Volume 15, Number 8—August 2009
From the Greek lyssa (frenzy or madness) and Latin virus (poison). In Greek mythology, Lyssa was the goddess of rage, fury, and rabies, known for driving mad the dogs of the hunter Acteon and causing them to kill their master. Aristotle (4th century
Lyssavirus is a genus of the family Rhabdoviridae, which includes rabies virus and other related viruses that infect mammals and arthropods (e.g., Australian bat lyssavirus, Duvenhage virus, European bat lyssaviruses 1 and 2, Lagos bat virus).
Sources: Steele JH, Fernandez PJ. History of rabies and global aspects. In: Baer GM. The natural history of rabies, 2nd ed. New York; CRC Press; 1991. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2007; Mahy B. The dictionary of virology, 4th edition. London: Academic Press; 2009. Dorland’s illustrated medical dictionary, 31st edition.