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    Infectious Disease Control Unit
    Mail Code: 1960
    PO BOX 149347 - Austin, TX 78714-9347
    1100 West 49th Street, Suite T801
    Austin, TX 78714

    Phone: 512 776 7676
    Fax: (512) 776-7616


    E-mail

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Zoonosis Control Branch

Rabies Rabies
(Lyssa)
ICD-9 071; ICD-10 A82
Related Topics: Oral Rabies Vaccine Programs

Human Rabies Postexposure Prophylaxis (PEP) in Texas

The following guidelines can used in determining whether PEP is appropriate in response to a potential exposure to rabies. An exposure is defined as 1) an animal bite which breaks the skin or 2) exposure of broken skin (bled or had serous drainage within the past 24 hours) or mucous membranes to saliva or cerebrospinal fluid.

Risk Category of Biting Animal Laboratory Testing Result Quarantine/Observation Human Postexposure Prophylaxis
Low (mice, rats, squirrels, nutria, rabbits, opossums, armadillos, shrews, prairie dogs, beavers, gophers) Testing is not required unless the Local Rabies Control Authority or physician have cause to believe the animal is rabid Not applicable Testing or PEP is not required unless the Local Rabies Control Authority or physician have cause to believe the biting animal is rabid.
High (Bats1, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, skunks) or type of biting animal is unknown Positive or non-negative2 Not applicable Administer PEP (usually acceptable to wait up to 72 hours for test results before beginning PEP unless animal displayed signs compatible with rabies)
Negative Not applicable PEP not administered
Animal not available Not applicable Administer PEP
Dog, Cat, Ferret3 Positive Animal tested Administer PEP (usually acceptable to wait up to 72 hours for test results before beginning PEP unless animal displayed signs compatible with rabies)
Negative Animal tested PEP not administered
Not tested pending outcome of quarantine PEP not administered if animal is available for 10-day quarantine If animal shows signs compatible with rabies during 10-day quarantine, animal should be immediately euthanized and tested. PEP should begin immediately without waiting for test results. Discontinue if test results are negative.
Animal not available or non-negative2 Animal not available or tested Consult public health professional
All Other Warm-Blooded Animals Positive Animal tested Administer PEP
Negative Animal tested PEP not administered
Non-negative2 Animal tested Consult public health professional
Not Tested 30-day observation4 Consult public health professional
Animal not available Animal not available Consult public health professional

1. In incidents involving bats, PEP may be appropriate even in the absence of demonstrable bite, scratch, or mucous membrane exposure in situations in which there is reasonable probability that such exposure may have occurred (e.g. sleeping individual awakes to find a bat in the room, adult witnesses a bat in the room with a previously unattended child, mentally challenged person, intoxicated individual, etc).

2. "Non-negative" includes all specimens not suitable for testing (destroyed, decomposed, etc).

3. The decision whether a dog, cat, or ferret should be euthanized and tested or quarantined rests with the Local Rabies Control Authority.

4. The Local Rabies Control Authority may authorize a 30-day observation period in lieu of testing.

Texas Department of State Health Services - Infectious Disease Control Unit
1100 West 49th Street, Suite T801, Mail Code: 1960 PO BOX 149347 - Austin, TX 78714-9347
(512) 458-7676 - Fax: (512) 458-7616 - E-Mail

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Last updated May 19, 2010
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