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Should I talk to my doctor if I think I have been exposed to rabies?

Peter DeLucia
Health Education
If you think you've been exposed to rabies, you should seek medical attention immediately, and call the health department. Watch public health specialist Peter DeLucia, MPA, explain why it's crucial to test the animal for the virus, if possible. 

If you suspect you may have been exposed to rabies, you must seek medical help immediately, before you begin to feel sick. Rabies treatment can kill the virus, but only before symptoms start. Once symptoms occur, there is no treatment, and rabies is nearly always fatal. Symptoms can start anywhere from 10 days to more than a year after the exposure, although a month or two is the usual timeframe.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.