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HCW exposure to rabies required conservative approach for PEP

October 30, 2014

Rabies poses a significant concern for health care workers who are treating patients with rabies, and comprehensive risk screening, counseling and timely post-exposure prophylaxis when necessary are required, researchers recently reported.

“Transmission of rabies has been documented in cases of organ and/or tissue transplant,” researcher Virginia L. Kan, MD, of the infectious diseases section at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues wrote. “However, there has been no reported transmission to health care workers (HCWs) during their care of patients with rabies. Given the lack of human-to-human transmission of rabies from the literature, as well as our own experience, a conservative approach seems appropriate for determining which HCWs should receive [post-exposure prophylaxis] PEP after caring for a patient with rabies.”

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