No. If you are exposed to the virus through a bite or a scratch you will still need to have a post-exposure prophylaxis booster (two doses of vaccine, but no need for immunoglobulin). However, whilst your antibody titre remains above 0.5 IU/ml you do not need to boost your pre-exposure vaccination.
Most puppies that bite are exploring the world using their mouths and will interact with people in a playful way, which includes nipping and biting, and do not have rabies. However, all bites from unvaccinated animals living in regions where rabies is endemic should be investigated by a medical expert.
If the puppy has been restricted indoors, walked only on a leash outdoors, and the owner is confident that the puppy has not interacted with any wildlife or other dogs, then it is extremely unlikely that the puppy is infected with the rabies virus. A person bitten by an unvaccinated puppy that has been roaming outdoors or exposed to other animals may be at risk for the rabies virus and should seek medical advice. Even puppies that have been contained in a fenced-in backyard, may still have been exposed to high risk wildlife such as skunks, coyotes, fox, raccoons and bats, and a bite from an unvaccinated puppy is a considered a risk for contracting the disease if the puppy has not been in a restricted environment.
Regardless of allergies and medical conditions, including pregnancy, anyone who has been exposed to the rabies virus should seek medical attention about getting the vaccine.
Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of the rabies vaccine, or who has a weakened immune system from HIV/AIDS, steroid use, or cancer drugs may need specialized treatment, but should still receive vaccination.
Unprotected sexual intercourse does not present a risk to the partners of those undergoing PEP after an exposure to the rabies virus. The vaccine treatment will prevent you from developing rabies, and no exposure to rabies will result after intimate contact with a person receiving prophylaxis.
No, you will not need to start over again if you deviate from the vaccine dosage schedule, but you should contact your doctor if a PEP injection is missed. The next dose will be given as soon as possible. Tell your doctor if you know in advance that you will miss one or more doses of PEP. In order to be protected against the disease, the full series of vaccines needs to be administered, and all doses, particularly at the start of the course, should be given at the recommended intervals wherever possible.
Yes. It is possible, though very rare, to develop clinical rabies after an incubation period of several years. Typically, the incubation period for the rabies virus is between one and three months; however, the length of the time to onset of disease symptoms can be as short as a few days to as long as several years. As long as there are no symptoms of rabies after an exposure, PEP can still prevent clinical rabies from developing. If there is a suspicion of exposure, even as long as several years ago, victims can still benefit from PEP, and should immediately consult a medical expert to determine if it is necessary.
If there is potential that there was exposure to the rabies virus, then PEP is recommended.
Yes, you will need a booster series of rabies vaccinations, to make sure that your immune system is prepared to fight off the virus. You do not need to have rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) if you have been pre-vaccinated.
If you suffered a rabies exposure but have received a complete series of rabies vaccinations within the last three months, you do not need vaccine or RIG. Thorough wound cleansing is still recommended.
Routine boosters are only recommended for workers at high risk of rabies exposure, such as lab workers and veterinarians. No booster doses following a primary series of pre-exposure vaccinations or post-exposure treatment are required for individuals living in, or travelling to, high-risk areas.
The recommended booster schedule depends upon the potential risk of exposure.People at high risk of exposure should have a blood test to evaluate the presence of rabies neutralizing antibodies. The time interval between blood tests is determined by the degree of risk. Directors of rabies laboratories should have specific requirements in place to monitor the presence of rabies neutralizing antibodies in the workers. In the event that the serological titre of someone working in a rabies laboratory falls below 0.5 IU/mL, they should receive one routine booster injection.