A Virginia resident who had not received pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis died of rabies resulting from a dog bite during a prolonged trip to India. Many exposed healthcare workers subsequently received post-exposure prophylaxis.
Rabies is an uncommon disease with a very high fatality rate. Recognition of a potential exposure and effective prophylaxis are critical in prevention of this devastating disease. The authors review recognition of suspicious bites/exposures, clinical presentation of rabies, and utilization of effective prevention strategies.
An excellent update on rabies was provided by Charles E. Rupprecht, the Rabies Section Chief of the CDC, during the Symposium, Control of Zoonoses: A Veterinary Perspective at the recent 51st annual ASTMH meeting in Denver, Colo.