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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can rabies be contracted through accidental skin contact with a dead animal's brain matter?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15797 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 10 May 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: I just arrived at my the airport, there was a squished animal in the parking lot it had been run over. I walked about 3-4 feet away from it. If there was brain material on the ground or guts is there acrabues risk, i am getting on a plane and cant change my shoes
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 53 minutes later
Brief Answer:
transmission is not likely

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic


Rabies is spread from contact with SALIVA from a contaminated animal according to the CDC.
Very very very rarely can it be spread otherwise and the virus would not be able to cross the physical barrier of your shoes.

This means that it is not likely that it is not likely that you could have been infected with rabies with this contact.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 51 minutes later
So do I need to worry, do I need to get shots?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 28 minutes later
Brief Answer:
no need to worry

Detailed Answer:
HI

No need to worry because the virus could not have been transmitted to you
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 minutes later
This is in real time, I am flying I just landed at my layover, I can't take my shoes off until I get to my destination-- I am really really scared

How long could the virus live on the soles of my shoes

Please help I am very scared
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 11 minutes later
Brief Answer:
there is no virus on your shoes

Detailed Answer:
HI

You stated that you walked 3 to 4 feet away from the dead animal. This means that you did not come into contact with it.

Since there was no contact at all and also bearing in mind that it is spread via saliva, there is no virus on your shoes.

NO contact, No virus
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 minutes later
I guess I am scared because it was squished pretty bad and I am worried that I may have stepped in brain material which can carry the disease as well, I guess I am worried it was splattered and I couldn't see it in the dark
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 25 minutes later
Brief Answer:
you are fine

Detailed Answer:
Hi

The thing is that it is usually spread via saliva acc to the CDC, not usually though the organs though that can very very rarely occur.
Even if you stepped on any aspect of the dead animal, though you walked far away from it, it would be not significant at all.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later
So nothing yo worry about, and I couldn't put anyone else at risk by tracking anything in

There is no need for me to follow up with a booster shot

I had rabies post exp shots in July- august due to an incident with my dog and an animal so I am really keyed up about this--

So no need for a booster shot because I didn't have direct contact and also because I had shots 4 months ago
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
no need to worry about transmission

Detailed Answer:
HI

You are correct, there is no need to follow up with a booster shot because there is no risk of transmission of the virus
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 days later
Still a little scared-- so there is no chance that something on my shoe was tracked into my room or truck. My truck is still at the airport and will be there for a few more days. I am mot worried about me just scared i could bring something knto my house and it would harm my kids
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
no there is no chance of this occurring

Detailed Answer:
HI

No, there is no chance of this occurring.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
So my kids are 100 percent safe there is no way any brain material could be tracked into my truck or house and still be viable

I am sorry to bug you with this i am a veteran with PTSD and it revolves around protection of my kids and hyper vigilance
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
they are fine, not at risk

Detailed Answer:
HI

It's fine.

Yes, they are fine, there is no risk of transmission and infection.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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