SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) What would you do if you came across a dead bat? Communications Coordinator Nicholas Rupp from the Salt Lake County Health Department joined Good Morning Utah with Emily Clark to talk about rabies safety.
In the United States, rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) consists of a regimen of five shots: one dose of immune globulin and four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period. Current vaccines are relatively painless and are given in your arm, like a flu or tetanus vaccine.
Rabies immune globulin and the first dose of rabies vaccine should be given by your health care provider as soon as possible after exposure. Additional doses or rabies vaccine should be given on days 3, 7, and 14 after the first vaccination. https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/index.html
In Salt Lake County, related to LAST WEEK’s West High bat exposures, as of 9/27/17, we have 41 individuals requiring PEP. That number may increase slightly if additional people who were exposed come forward.
Anyone potentially exposed to rabies (which is transmitted through the saliva or brain/nervous system tissue of an infected animal) should receive PEP.
Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal. To date, fewer than 10 documented cases of human survival from clinical rabies have been reported and only two of those did not had a history of pre- or postexposure prophylaxis.