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Clinical focus: Immunisations

PHE guidelines on rabies post-exposure treatment

Public Health England

Rabies still poses a significant public health problem in many countries in Asia and Africa where 95% of all human deaths from rabies occur. The UK has been free of rabies in terrestrial animals since 1922. However, European Bat Lyssavirus 2, a rabies-like virus, has been found in Daubenton's bats across the UK. Post-exposure treatment (PET), which consists of the rabies vaccine with or without rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG) is highly effective in preventing disease if given correctly and promptly after exposure.

This Guidelines summary covers post-exposure risk assessment and treatment, and includes two useful and concise algorithms for the management of rabies.

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