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.

Continue Learning about Rabies

How is rabies treated?
Sigma NursingSigma Nursing
You must get rabies treatment very soon after you are exposed, before deadly symptoms appear. If you...
More Answers
How is rabies spread?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
An exposure to rabies most commonly occurs when a person is bitten by a rabid animal. It can also be...
More Answers
How common is rabies?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Rabies kills two or three people each year in the United States. These people usually don't know tha...
More Answers
How do other illnesses affect rabies?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
No matter what other illnesses you have, you should get the rabies vaccine if you have been exposed ...
More Answers

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.