Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Rabies

Hoa-Hsin Wu1, Kai-Hsiang You2, Hsiu-Yun Lo2

2013 Vol.29 NO.133

Correspondence Author: Hoa-Hsin Wu

  • 1.Office of Preventive Medicine, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2.Division of Acute Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


       Since the Council of Agriculture reported three rabid ferret-badgers in July 2013, Taiwan has become rabies enzootic area after being rabies-free for 50 years. About 40% persons exposed to rabid animals will be infected and the mortality is extremely high. This article introduces the symptoms, diagnostic tests, management, pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis of rabies. Rabies is an acute progressive encephalomyelitis. The typical clinical symptoms involve neurological presentations predominantly, including agitation, convulsion, and confusion, etc. The laboratory techniques include viral antigen detection, virus isolation, viral antibody detection, and viral ribonucleic acid detection. Due to no proven standard therapy, it is important to prevent rabies after suspect exposure to the virus, consisting of local treatment of wounds, rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) administration, and rabies vaccine injection. In response to re-emergence of rabies, Taiwan CDC has controlled and coordinated the distribution of rabies vaccines and RIG in Taiwan since July 2013. Other implemented strategies include increasing designated hospitals for rabies vaccines storage, enhancing the healthcare providers training about rabies prophylaxis.