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February 14, 1966

Hazard of Rabies From Bites of Wild Animals

JAMA. 1966;195(7):595. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100070139055

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To the Editor:—  The report of "A Human Case of Skunk Rabies" (194:333, 1965) once again highlights the hazard of rabies contracted from wild-animal bites. Since most of the very few rabies deaths in the United States in recent years have been the result of bites of rabid wild animals, it is worthwhile once again to reemphasize the generally recommended handling of such bites. The fourth report of the Expert Committee on Rabies of the World Health Organization (1960) emphasizes the importance of administering antirabies serum immediately in the event of any wild-animal bite, whether mild or severe. It also stresses the use of serum in the case of any severe bites by a domestic or wild animal, even if the administration of vaccine is postponed in a situation in which the animal can be kept under observation. The report also calls attention to the fact that bites on

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