How to Avoid Rabies

Peak rabies rates in some of the most common rabies carriers, such as raccoons and skunks, occur in the spring.1 When you and your family plan outdoor activities such as hikes, picnics, or even a day spent in your own backyard, it's important to be on the lookout for unusual animal activity.

Remember, rabid animals are unusually vicious and aggressive or may be acting strangely or have trouble walking. Some rabid animals may be appear to be normal. People should stay away from all wild and stray animals that are aggressive or appear to be sick to reduce the risk of exposure to rabies. Report any suspicious animals to local animal control immediately.2

What to Do If You Are Bitten by a Wild or Domestic Animal

If you are bitten by an animal, take the following steps immediately2:

  • Clean the wound with soap and water
  • Seek prompt medical attention from a physician or hospital emergency department
  • Report the bite to the local health department. If you are bitten by a wild animal, try to contain the animal while taking care to prevent additional bites and exposure to saliva
  • Contact the animal control officer or local police for assistance. In the event the animal is euthanized, care should be taken to avoid damage to the brain, which should be submitted to a rabies laboratory for testing
  • Human treatment to prevent rabies may be started immediately or delayed until the testing results are known
  • If the animal is not available for testing, the decision to start human treatment will be made by the bite victim and his/her physician based on recommendations by the local health department
  • If you are bitten by a dog, cat, or other domestic animal, obtain information about the pet including owner's name, phone number, address, description of the animal, and its vaccination status

Indication and Usage

HYPERRAB® (rabies immune globulin [human]) is indicated for postexposure prophylaxis, along with rabies vaccine, for all persons suspected of exposure to rabies.

Limitations of Use 

Persons who have been previously immunized with rabies vaccine and have a confirmed adequate rabies antibody titer should receive only vaccine.

For unvaccinated persons, the combination of HYPERRAB and vaccine is recommended for both bite and nonbite exposures regardless of the time interval between exposure and initiation of postexposure prophylaxis.

Beyond 7 days (after the first vaccine dose), HYPERRAB is not indicated since an antibody response to vaccine is presumed to have occurred.

Important Safety Information

For infiltration and intramuscular use only.

Severe hypersensitivity reactions may occur with HYPERRAB. Patients with a history of prior systemic allergic reactions to human immunoglobulin preparations are at a greater risk of developing severe hypersensitivity and anaphylactic reactions. Have epinephrine available for treatment of acute allergic symptoms, should they occur.

HYPERRAB is made from human blood and may carry a risk of transmitting infectious agents, eg, viruses, the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) agent, and, theoretically, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) agent.

The most common adverse reactions in >5% of subjects during clinical trials were injection-site pain, headache, injection-site nodule, abdominal pain, diarrhea, flatulence, nasal congestion, and oropharyngeal pain.

Do not administer repeated doses of HYPERRAB once vaccine treatment has been initiated as this could prevent the full expression of active immunity expected from the rabies vaccine.

Other antibodies in the HYPERRAB preparation may interfere with the response to live vaccines such as measles, mumps, polio, or rubella. Defer immunization with live vaccines for 4 months after HYPERRAB administration.  

Please see full Prescribing Information for HyperRAB.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

HyperTET® S/D (tetanus immune globulin [human]) is indicated for prophylaxis against tetanus following injury in patients whose immunization is incomplete or uncertain.

HyperTET S/D should be given with caution to patients with a history of prior systemic allergic reactions following the administration of human immunoglobulin preparations.

In patients who have severe thrombocytopenia or any coagulation disorder that would contraindicate intramuscular injections, HyperTET S/D should be given only if the expected benefits outweigh the risks.

Slight soreness at the site of injection and slight temperature elevation may be noted at times. Sensitization to repeated injections of human immunoglobulin is extremely rare. In the course of routine injections of large numbers of persons with immunoglobulin, there have been a few isolated occurrences of angioneurotic edema, nephrotic syndrome, and anaphylactic shock after injection. Administration of live virus vaccines (eg, MMR) should be deferred for approximately 3 months after tetanus immune globulin (human) administration.

HyperTET S/D is made from human plasma. Products made from human plasma may contain infectious agents, such as viruses and theoretically, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) agent that can cause disease. There is also the possibility that unknown infectious agents may be present in such products.

Please see HyperTET S/D full Prescribing Information for complete prescribing details.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


References:

  1. Dyer JL, Yager P, Orciari L, et al. Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2013. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2014;245(10):1111-1123.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/transmission/. Updated January 20, 2016. Accessed March 25, 2016.