Rabies PEP Failure

Jun 21, 2011 | Amy L. Sonricker Hansen | Outbreak News

A patient in Mumbai, India is now in a coma after becoming infected with rabies despite completing the recommended postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) regimen following a dog bite. A 2nd patient is also in a coma with the deadly virus after failing to complete the PEP series of vaccinations. (PEP typically consists of one dose of immune globulin and four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period.) PEP is usually highly effective, however in a small percentage of patients the vaccine series may not build up enough of an immune response. It is also important that PEP be administered promptly after a rabies exposure and that the schedule of doses is followed. According to the WHO, India sees 25,000-30,000 deaths due to rabies each year.

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