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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can Rabies be transmitted upon licking an envelope lying in a place having an animal carcass 5 weeks ago?

Answered by
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Dr. Kathy Robinson

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 3478 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 1 Aug 2018 in Infections
Question: I know this is stupid, I just want some reassurance.

In an oldr question I was assured that there would be no rabbies virus in my truck (from me possibley stepping on animal remnants even though the dead animal was 5 feet away and tracking it into my truck, if by chance it was it would be dead 5 weeks later) OK I get that, but right now I am having a terrible fear, I had some mail in the truck and I licked the envelope and mailed it. Is there any possible was if something was on the envelope that it got in my mouth and it would grow in my salvia and pose a risk to my family? granted this 5 weeks after the event and I am vaccinated and had boosters (I work in agriculture) So is this an impossible of scenario - a bit of something got on the envelope, then on my tongue and stayed in my mouth, then was protected by my salvia somehow? Please let me know I am scared to kiss my wife.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
this is not how rabies is transmitted

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
You do not need to worry about kissing your wife. Rabies is spread from the saliva of an infected animal when the animal bites its victim. You must have saliva with rabies in it and an open wound for there to be transmission of rabies.
If you are not sick then you do not have rabies. Also you have been vaccinated which means you probably would not even get rabies even if you were bitten by a rabid animal.
I know that this is scary but you can put this fear to rest. You do not have rabies.
Regards,
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kathy Robinson 14 minutes later
I guess my worry was more, if something was still in my truck and it got on an envelope I licked could it live in my mouth and be transmittable even though I wouldn't get rabbies.

I licked the envelope actually about 6 weeks after the incident, but still a little paranoid something was in my truck. It has been 6 days since I licked it.

I know this sounds like an episode of house or something and its farfetched.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 0 minute later
Brief Answer:
rabies virus dies when it is dried out

Detailed Answer:
Hi again,
I really want to reassure you that this is not how rabies is transmitted.
Even if there had been materials in your truck with virus on it, once the saliva with virus in it dries out it is no longer able to transmit rabies.
To get rabies you must have wet infected saliva injected into a wound to get rabies. You cannot give your family rabies by licking an envelope and then kissing them. It is not possible.
Regards,
Dr. Robinson
.................................................................

Brief Answer:
that is correct

Detailed Answer:
Anything remaining in your truck would not have live virus on it and there is no risk of transmission to your family. Please try to let go of this and move on. Your family is safe.
Regards,
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kathy Robinson 10 minutes later
I know it’s not possible

I just get these what if’s all the time

So there is no way anything could live six weeks in my truck, (at has been cleaned professionally) and definitely not on an envelope that was in the truck. my family is safe and I can move on
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 6 minutes later
Brief Answer:
you are welcome

Detailed Answer:
I hope you can put this to rest soon. Your family is in no danger.
I wish you the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kathy Robinson 4 minutes later
Thanks, I appreciate your help and advice.
One last question, I want to clarify a few things

1. Rabies couldn’t live outside the carcass of an animal for 6-7 weeks. In my truck no way

2. Any material salvia or brain material would be dry and decomposing

3. You would have to see the material it can’t just be invisible. So you would have to see visible salvia or nerve material and can’t be just there.

Am I correct see I can put this to bed

Thanks in advance

doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 47 hours later
Brief Answer:
answers

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
1. Rabies could not live outside the carcass of an animal for 6-7 weeks in your truck
2. Any material or brain material would be dried up and the virus would die
3. You cannot see a virus, but if a small amount of saliva with virus in it is on a surface, it will dry out and the virus would die.
I hope this is helpful
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kathy Robinson 10 hours later
so No worries- no risk
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 11 hours later
Brief Answer:
no risk

Detailed Answer:
I feel certain that you can let go of this. There is no risk.
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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