The Importance of Routine Rabies Tests
Rapid and accurate laboratory diagnosis of rabies in humans and other animals are essential for timely administration of post-exposure prophylaxis. Within a few hours, a diagnostic laboratory can determine whether or not an animal is rabid and inform the responsible medical personnel. The laboratory results may save a patient from unnecessary physical and psychological trauma, and financial burdens, if the animal is not rabid.
In addition, laboratory identification of positive rabies cases may aid in defining current epidemiological patterns of disease and provide appropriate information for the development of rabies control programs.
Rabies Diagnosis in Animals
**If you suspect a case of human rabies immediately contact the Oklahoma State Health Department’s Disease and Prevention Services at 405-271-4060.**
The direct fluorescent antibody test (dFA) is the test most frequently used to diagnose rabies. This test requires brain tissue from animals suspected of being rabid. The test can only be performed post-mortem (after the animal is dead).