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"How long after a bite can you get rabies ?"

ZocdocAnswersHow long after a bite can you get rabies ?


Someone I know was bitten by an animal about 10 years ago. He didnt get vaccinated for rabies, what are the chances of him getting the virus? Every doctor and nurse he has been to said it is impossible to get it now and if he would have got it he would have died years ago. Is this true or should he still get vaccinated?


Although it is important to speak to a doctor whenever you are bitten or scratched by an unfamiliar animal, I think it has been long enough that I think his doctors would say that he probably did not get rabies from that bite. Rabies is most often obtained from a bite from an infected animal. Wild animals especially wild dogs and bats are the usual carriers of the rabies virus. In the United States, rabies is quite rare. It is more common in Asia and Africa. Rabies always has an incubation period which is long compared to most infections. People do not have symptoms for usually 1 to 3 months after the exposure. It can (in very rare cases) result in symptoms after a week and even as late as a year. However, 10 years is way outside even the longest of incubation periods for this virus. Again, if you are ever bitten or scratched by an animal that you are not familiar with (wild or domestic), you should always meet with your doctor. In this case you could be seen by your primary care physician. In some cases, animal bites require antibiotics that you need to prevent a serious infection. In other cases (more rarely), your doctor might insist that you get the rabies vaccine to make sure that a bite does not result in an infection with this virus.

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