Font Size
A
A
A
...
6
...

Rabies (cont.)

Rabies Treatment

Self-Care at Home

When bitten by an animal, you should always care for the wound immediately by washing it out with soap, water, and some sort of commercial antiseptic iodine solution, if available. This will help kill the common bacteria that may be passed by the bite but also has been shown to decrease the likelihood of transmission of the rabies virus, should the animal be rabid.

  • If the animal is a pet, get the owner's name, address, and phone number, if possible. This information will aid the local public health authorities as they monitor the animal.
  • If the animal is a wild animal, or stray dog or cat, contact the local animal-control authorities (your local humane society or city or county public health office) immediately. They will attempt to safely capture the animal for examination. The victim or other bystanders should not attempt to capture or subdue the animal. This might lead to further bites or exposures.
  • If the animal is a bat, and the exposure occurred in a building, the doors and windows should be shut in the room containing the bat after all other people are evacuated. If this cannot be done without risk of repeat exposure to the bat, then the most important thing is to minimize the chance of contact between that bat and other people. Once again, call local animal-control authorities, and they will capture the bat.
    • Bat exposures are different from any other animal. There does not necessarily have to be a detectable bat bite to constitute a significant exposure.
    • If a bat bite or direct contact cannot be ruled out, then there may have been a significant exposure, such as in the following circumstances:
      • A sleeping person awakens to find a bat in the room.
      • An adult sees a bat in the room of a previously unattended child, mentally disabled person, or intoxicated person.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/14/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Rabies

Animal Bites
Animal Bites Many different types of animals ranging from dogs and cats to hamsters, raccoons, ferrets, and squirrels can bite adults and children. Many times, bites are fro...learn more >>
Brain Infection
Brain Infection Our brain, the spinal cord, and its surrounding structures could become infected by a large spectrum of germs (that is, microorganisms). Bacteria and viruses ar...learn more >>
Foreign Travel
Foreign Travel It is important to plan well in advance when traveling to a foreign country. Travelers should protect (and prepare) themselves from illness by obtaining the app...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Rabies:

Rabies - Treatment

What was your treatment for rabies?



NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Rabies »

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the CNS.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary