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5.4.4 How do we deal with or prevent exposures?

The best way to prevent exposures is to stay away from wild animals. Do not touch wild animals that appear tame or show abnormal behaviour. The latter also applied to domestic animals. If your pet, e.g. dog or cat, is fighting or struggling with a fox, other wild animal or pets, do not intervene and do not try to separate them.

I have been bitten by a fox, other wild animal, dog or cat what should I do?

Immediate washing of the wound with soap and water is extremely important and one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of contracting rabies. Since rabies is transmitted in most cases through the bite of a rabid animal, thorough washing of the wound will allow you to remove as much saliva (hence virus) from the wound as possible and will greatly decrease chances of infection. Wash the wound with soap (or detergent) and water for at least 15 minutes and seek medical treatment. If no soap is available, at minimum wash the wound with water for at least 15 minutes. Then go straight to hospital (see below) for appropriate medical attention.

Click here for more information on management of bite wounds and rabies prophylaxis.


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Version 1 - Last updated November 2012