Rabies

Local treatment of wounds

Wounded child
Photo by David Warrell

The eighth report of the WHO Expert Committee emphasized the importance of prompt local treatment of all bite wounds and scratches that may be contamined with rabies virus, even if the person presents after a prolonged period.

Wounded child
Photo by David Warrell

Recommended first-aid procedures are immediate thorough flushing and washing of the wound with soap and water, detergent or other substances of proven lethal effect on rabies virus. People who live in rabies infected areas should be educated in simple local wound treatment and warned not to use procedures that may further contaminate the wounds. If possible, suturing of wounds should be avoided; however, if suturing is necessary, anti-rabies immunoglobulin should be infiltrated around the wound. Other treatments, such as administration of antibiotics or anti-tetanus procedures, when indicated, should follow the local treatment.

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