Rabies post-exposure treatment: management guidelines

Rabies is a viral encephalitis and can be fatal. Prompt treatment after exposure is the most effective way to prevent disease.


Rabies: guidelines on managing rabies post-exposure treatment

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Post-exposure treatment (PET) using rabies vaccine with or without human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG) is highly effective in preventing disease if given correctly and promptly after exposure.

This guidance provides a practical guide to undertaking risk assessment of potential rabies exposures and the correct use of PET.

Published 1 January 2013
Last updated 7 June 2017 + show all updates
  1. Patients started on alternative regimens section revised.
  2. Revised guidelines - see page 2 for details of changes.
  3. Updated information about the new Rabies and Immunoglobulin Service and updated risk assessment to include HRIG for primate category III bites to the head and neck.
  4. The document has been updated to reword section ‘B9 Imported pets (dogs, cats or ferrets)’, on page 14.
  5. Changes to the guidance include a new category of ‘partially immune’ for those individuals who are not fully immune but have received vaccine in the past, advice on what to do if it is more than 10 years since the last rabies vaccine, and information on dealing with animals imported into the country under the EU PETS passport scheme.
  6. First published.