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Am J Public Health. 1996 Aug;86(8):1149-51.

Mass human exposure to rabies in New Hampshire: exposures, treatment, and cost.

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  • 1Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



This study assessed the rabies exposure and treatment that at least 665 persons in Concord, NH, received as a result of one proven rabid pet-store kitten in October 1994.


All treatment recipients were interviewed by person or phone.


The median age of the treatment recipients was 14 years; 58% were female. The most common exposures were low risk (e.g., picking up, petting, nuzzling, or being scratched by a potentially rabid kitten). Local reactions to vaccine or immune globulin were reported by 76.5% of recipients, while 48.8% reported at least one systemic reaction. Cost for the biologicals was estimated at more than $1.1 million.


Because of the inadequacy of pet store records, the inconsistent application of treatment guidelines, and other factors, many people received postexposure treatment as a result of contacts that were unlikely to transmit rabies. The rates of local and systemic adverse reactions experienced were consistent with previous reports.

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