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September 14, 1957


JAMA. 1957;165(2):158-159. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980200038011

THERE has been much recent publicity concerning the administration of the Pasteur antirabies treatment to persons who were in contact with a patient who died of rabies. The indications for giving vaccine for rabies prophylaxis should be clearly understood. The following case illustrates the principles involved.

In July, 1956, a man was bitten by his dog while attempting to train her. The dog had no illness at that time but ran away and never was located. In April, 1957, the patient complained of headache followed by nausea and vomiting. Four days later he became severely ill, was unable to swallow, and was extremely apprehensive. That evening he was admitted to the hospital, where in addition to his extreme agitation he suffered from thirst and fear of water. He was removed to a mental hospital, where rabies was diagnosed. He died that evening, five days after the onset of his illness.

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