oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Every death from rabies is an unnecessary one : review

Volume 80, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



Rabies is one of the oldest infectious diseases known to man. It is always fatal once symptoms have started, but can be prevented if appropriate wound treatment and post-exposure prophylaxis is given. Animal rabies is endemic in South Africa and dog bites are responsible for most human cases. Although a number of cases are confirmed, many are not, as they occur in the rural areas or may be misdiagnosed. Rabies immunoglobulin and effective vaccines are available in South Africa. A pre-exposure vaccination is recommended for those who are at risk of being exposed to rabies. Post-exposure vaccination is life-saving for those who have been exposed to rabies. This article gives insight into when to administer the vaccine and immunoglobulin and the appropriate schedules.

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