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Clin Infect Dis. 2003 Jan 1;36(1):60-3. Epub 2002 Dec 11.

Management of rabies in humans.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 2V7.


Rabies is a fatal disease in humans, and, to date, the only survivors of the disease have received rabies vaccine before the onset of illness. The approach to management of the rabies normally should be palliative. In unusual circumstances, a decision may be made to use an aggressive approach to therapy for patients who present at an early stage of clinical disease. No single therapeutic agent is likely to be effective, but a combination of specific therapies could be considered, including rabies vaccine, rabies immunoglobulin, monoclonal antibodies, ribavirin, interferon-alpha, and ketamine. Corticosteroids should not be used. As research advances, new agents may become available in the future for the treatment of human rabies.

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