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Rabies: a review of UK management
  1. N McKay1,
  2. L Wallis2
  1. 1Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport
  2. 2Emergency Medicine, Cape Town, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr N McKay
 Accident and Emergency, Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, UK;


Rabies is endemic worldwide, and causes approximately 30 000 deaths per year. In the past 20 years, 12 deaths have occurred in the UK, although all but one case were contracted overseas. We have reviewed the current literature regarding the management of possible rabies exposure in the setting of a UK emergency department. The article offers an overview of rabies, including pathology, risk assessment, and current treatment, including both pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis. We have also included a form online, which allows the correct information to be obtained and recorded prior to seeking advice from the local virology services.

  • CDSC, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre
  • EBLV, European bat lyssavirus
  • ED, emergency department
  • HRIG, human rabies immunoglobulin
  • rabies
  • pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • post-exposure prophylaxis

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  • Competing interest: there are no competing interests

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