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October 27, 1975

The Treatment of Persons Exposed to Rabies-Reply

Author Affiliations

Communicable Disease Center Atlanta

JAMA. 1975;234(4):383. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260170019014

In Reply.—  We appreciate Dr Rosefsky's comments regarding the rabies treatment algorithm. It certainly is not our intent to initiate a program to destroy all unvaccinated dogs. On the other hand, it is the intent of the algorithm to provide guidelines for the physician confronted with a patient exposed to a possibly rabid animal, and the first question in the algorithm asks whether a person has been exposed to a possibly rabid animal. If the physician decides the animal could not possibly be rabid, we recommend no treatment.There are, no doubt, many children licked or nipped by unvaccinated but normally behaving puppies in whom the possibility of rabies is never seriously considered. But if the physician does consider rabies a possibility, we recommend that he decide on the basis outlined in the algorithm whether or not to treat the patient. Because of the morbidity associated with postexposure rabies prophylaxis,