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Healthcare Providers Resources for Rabies

Does the Oklahoma State Department of Health or County Health Department provide rabies post exposure prophylaxis (PEP)?

No.  A person exposed to rabies will be referred to their primary care provider, urgent care center, or a hospital emergency room for rabies PEP.

What do I do if my patient is bitten by a small rodent (mouse, rat, squirrel, hamster, guinea pig, gerbil, or chipmunk)?

Rabies post exposure prophylaxis is NOT recommended.  If an unusual circumstance has occurred involving the bite, please contact the Acute Disease Service (ADS) Epidemiologist-on-Call at (405) 271-4060 to consult regarding rabies risk.

Is rabies PEP recommended if more than 72 hours has passed since the bite?

Yes.  The 72-hour time frame refers to the time period an individual should look for the biting animal before obtaining rabies PEP.

Is rabies PEP recommended if the animal is still available?

No.  If the biting animal is a dog, cat, or ferret, the animal should be observed for 10 days from the time of the bite or sent in for rabies testing.  If the biting animal is a farm animal (cow, sheep, pig, horse, goat, etc.) or exotic animal (monkey, tiger, bear, etc.), the animal should be observed for 30 days from the time of the bite or sent in for rabies testing.  The bite victim should contact their local animal control or their local county health department to report the bite and guidance regarding quarantine or testing the animal.

Do you still give RIG in the site of the bite if the wound has healed?

Yes.  It is still recommended to infiltrate the bite site if the wound has healed.

What should I do if the vaccine schedule was altered by the patient?

You may contact the vaccine company or the ADS Epidemiologist-on-Call at (405) 271-4060.

Who should I contact if I have a suspected human case of rabies?

Human rabies is very rare in the United States.  If you are exposed to a rabid animal, and post exposure shots are provided, the risk of developing rabies is extremely low.  If you have questions about symptoms of illness following a rabies exposure, please consult with your primary physician or an infectious disease physician.

Does the Oklahoma State Department of Health test humans for rabies?

No.  The Epidemiologist-on-Call will consult with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for human rabies testing if a physician suspects a person’s illness is due to rabies.

Who should I contact with any questions about rabies or rabies PEP recommendations?

You can speak with the ADS Epidemiologist-on-Call at (405) 271-4060.

Rabies Resources for Healthcare Providers:

Rabies Medical Care Programs for Uninsured and Underinsured Patients (CDC)

Human Rabies Prevention - United States, 2008: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (CDC)

Rabies ACIP Provisional Recommendations for the Prevention of Human Rabies, July 10, 2009 (25k.pdf)

Rabies Postexposure Prophylaxis Assessment Algorithm (135k.pdf)

Rabies Postexposure Prophylaxis Administration Summary for Clinicians (33k.pdf)

Rabies Vaccine Information Statement (156k.pdf)

Imovax® Rabies Package Insert (FDA) (139k.pdf)

RabAvert™ Package Insert (Novartis) (130k.pdf)

HyperRAB™S/D Insert (110k.pdf)


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