Friday, November 03, 2006

Rabies


There was an unusual and tragic case in Indiana this month. A young girl bitten by a bat in "July" died from rabies 3 months later. While most of the animal cases of rabies are Raccoon rabies, most human cases are bat rabies . (there are 5 rabies variants, raccoon,bat, skunk, fox and dog) .
In virtually all cases rabies is fatal with only a few patients surviving. I have personally been exposed to 2 rabies cases in horses while a resident and had to be re-vaccinated at that time.
There was a serious outbreak of rabies in Iran of all places awhile back ( that would be a hard diagnosis....a rabid Iranian, how could you tell) Anyway...there was a bus where a rabid dog got on board and bit almost everybody. In that case they treated half of the people with gammaglobulin and vaccine and the other half with just wound washing. The result....nobody got rabies. Would I still get a booster if exposed again...you bet I would. It's just to bad a bug to take lightly. With the horses we treat I suggest vaccinating once a year so if your horse develops neurologic disease ( encephalitis, west nile, EPM, herpes virus ect) you can feel better about your personal risk from exposure to your own horse.

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