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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
August 6, 2014

Challenging Rabies Investigation

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Copyright American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2014;312(5):479. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.8579

The case of a US federal detainee with potentially infectious rabies challenged public health officials to locate the man’s contacts who might need postexposure prophylaxis (PEP).

The investigation was no small task, as the man was from Guatemala and entered the United States illegally last year, presumably through Mexico. While in federal custody, he had contact with law enforcement officers, health workers, and other detainees in 4 detention facilities, a medical clinic, and 2 hospitals. He died about a month after being apprehended—2 days after his rabies diagnosis was confirmed.

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