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Can contract rabies after a cat scratch?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 987 Questions
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Hello, I need to know if I could have possibly contracted rabies. I feed stray cats every night and am usually careful. Tonight, I was cleaning up their left over food cans, wasn't wearing gloves and immediately had to sneeze. By reflex and habit I covered my mouth, but had left over cat food on my hand and may have gotten some of the food in my eye or mouth. I wiped my face off with rubbing alcohol and cleaned my mouth out too. I don't not know if any of these cats are infected. Do I need to see a doctor?
Posted Tue, 1 Jul 2014 in Infections
 
 
Answered by Dr. Muhammed Aslam 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It is better to go for vaccination

Detailed Answer:
Hello dear,

I am Dr Aslam here to help you.

There is probability of indirect mucosal exposure to saliva. Since this was an indirect contact,and you had thorough cleansing after that, the probability of contracting rabies is very low. However to be on the safer side, I suggest you go for post exposure prophylaxis. The usual regimen used is IDRV(intradermal) which needs to be completed in 4-5 visits. Your primary physician will guide you.

Since you are in close contact with this animal, you can observe its activities for next couple of weeks. If there is no abnormal behavior, then it is less likely to be infected. In such cases, there is no question about you getting rabies.
Hope I have answered your query.If you have further questions,I will be happy to help.
Wishing you good health,Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Can contract rabies after a cat scratch? 29 minutes later
Can I see the doctor in a day or do I need to go immediately?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Muhammed Aslam 15 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Better to take as early as possible.

Detailed Answer:
Hello dear,

When indicated,rabies vaccination should be started at once.The aim is to produce an immune status as quickly as possible so that the virus will not become established in the peripheral nerve(along which it reaches brain).Immunity is less effective once the nerve infection is established.

With your scenario,possibility of rabies is low. But please undergo vaccination-so lets get the maximum benefit by early administration.

Hope its clear now. If you have no further questions, you can close the discussion and rate the answer.
Wishing everything to be fine,Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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