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Logo of eidEmerging Infectious Diseases
Emerg Infect Dis. 1999 May-Jun; 5(3): 415–423.
PMCID: PMC2640781

Human rabies postexposure prophylaxis during a raccoon rabies epizootic in New York, 1993 and 1994.


We describe the epidemiology of human rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) in four upstate New York counties during the 1st and 2nd year of a raccoon rabies epizootic. We obtained data from records of 1,173 persons whose rabies PEP was reported to local health departments in 1993 and 1994. Mean annual PEP incidence rates were highest in rural counties, in summer, and in patients 10 to 14 and 35 to 44 years of age. PEP given after bites was primarily associated with unvaccinated dogs and cats, but most (70%) was not attributable to bites. Although pet vaccination and stray animal control, which target direct exposure, remain the cornerstones of human rabies prevention, the risk for rabies by the nonbite route (e. g., raccoon saliva on pet dogs' and cats' fur) should also be considered.

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Selected References

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