5.4.5 What do I need to consider as a physician regarding exposure interventions?

If a person has been bitten by an animal, start with PEP without delay. Also, immediately report the biting incident to responsible public health authorities and inquire about the rabies status of the region, the results of rabies testing or the vaccination status of the animal in question, e.g. dogs, cats. Dogs or cats with no valid vaccination should be subject to official veterinary observation for at least 10 days to determine the infectious status of the animal.

Cessation of the PEP schedule can only be considered if rabies is not endemic in the region, laboratory tests confirm that there is no rabies infection in the animal responsible for the bite, that it has a valid rabies vaccination and/or that is has survived the ten-day observation period.

Close collaboration between regional public health and veterinary authorities can help prevent unjustified use of PEP.


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Version 1 - Last updated November 2012