Rabies Questions & Answers

Updated: Jun 21, 2019
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is rabies?

How is the rabies virus characterized and how is it transmitted?

What causes rabies?

What is the annual incidence of rabies in the US?

Which animals serve as reservoirs for rabies?

How has climate change affected the prevalence of rabies?

What is the role of bats in the transmission of rabies in the US?

What is the role of raccoons in the transmission of rabies in the US?

What is the role of skunks in the transmission of rabies in the US?

What is the role of cats and dogs in the transmission of rabies in the US?

Which animal species are at lower risk for rabies in the US?

What are the adverse effects of exposure to oral animal vaccines for rabies?

What is the mortality rate for rabies in transplant recipients?

What is the global prevalence of rabies?

How do the reservoirs of rabies virus vary by geographic location?

How does the incidence of rabies vary by sex?

What is the pathophysiology of rabies?

What is the prognosis of rabies?

What patient education details should be provided to patients about rabies?

Presentation

What is the focus of history in the evaluation of rabies?

What are the features of rabies during the incubation period?

What are the signs and symptoms of rabies during the prodromal period?

What are the signs and symptoms of rabies in the acute neurologic period?

What is the progression of rabies following coma?

What are the physical signs of rabies during neurologic period?

What are the symptoms of autonomic instability in rabies?

What are the indications of coma in rabies?

How is death determined in patients with rabies?

DDX

What are conditions to consider in the differential diagnoses of rabies?

What are the differential diagnoses for Rabies?

Workup

What is the initial approach to evaluation for rabies after an acute or recent bite?

What is included in the evaluation of encephalitis when rabies is suspected?

What is the role of viral cultures and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay in the workup of rabies?

What is the role of blood gas analysis in the workup of rabies?

Which findings of hematology studies suggest rabies?

What is the role of imaging studies in the workup of rabies?

What is the role of EEG in the workup of rabies?

Which results of cardiac monitoring are characteristic of rabies?

What is the role of nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) in the diagnosis of rabies?

What is the role of serology in the diagnosis of rabies?

What is the role of skin biopsy in the workup of rabies?

Which histologic findings are characteristic of rabies?

Treatment

How are bite wounds managed when rabies is suspected?

When is inpatient care indicated for patients with rabies?

When is transfer to a tertiary center indicated for patients with rabies?

Who should conduct follow-up evaluations in patients with rabies?

When is preexposure, prophylaxis or immunization against rabies indicated?

What are the CDC and WHO recommendations for rabies vaccination?

What is the initial care of animal bites with possible exposure to rabies?

Which rabies vaccines are used in the US, and what are their adverse effects?

What is included in the treatment of rabies prior to onset of symptoms?

How is the rabies vaccine administered?

What are the indications for empiric treatment and prophylaxis for rabies?

How is rabies treated in pregnant women?

What is the role of intradermal (ID) vaccinization regimens in the treatment of rabies?

What is included in inpatient care of rabies?

When is transfer indicated in patients with rabies?

What is included in patient education about rabies prevention?

How is rabies prevented among healthcare workers?

How should organ donors be screened to prevent rabies transmission?

What are preventive measures to control rabies in the animal population?

Which medical personnel provide consultation to patients with rabies?

Medications

What is the role of passive and active immunizations against rabies?

Which medications in the drug class Rabies Vaccines (United States) are used in the treatment of Rabies?

Which medications in the drug class Passive Immunizing Agents are used in the treatment of Rabies?