Rabies vaccine saves lives
Rabies is an incurable disease. Immediately after infection, a rabies vaccine is used to combat the disease. Because when symptoms appear, it is already impossible to save a person. There is no specific treatment for this disease. The patient is simply placed in a separate room and protected from irritants. Treatment is only symptomatic (large doses of morphine, anticonvulsant and sleeping drugs).
At the moment, only three reported cases of laboratory recovery are known worldwide. Five more are not confirmed. In the recorded cases, treatment was based on a combination of various antiviral drugs, as well as the introduction of a person into an artificial coma with the help of injection anesthetics. This method was called the Milwaukee protocol. It was first used in the USA in 2004 for the treatment of fifteen-year-old Gina Gis.
Rabies help is provided by a surgeon.It is necessary for a person after contact with an infected or simply suspicious animal. Rabies vaccine is administered on the first day when the patient turns to doctors. Previously conducted courses of injection under the skin of the abdomen (20-30 pieces). However, this technique is considered obsolete and almost never used. Now physicians apply rabies culture vaccine. It allows you to shorten the course, as well as reduce a single dose of the drug. This drug is usually well tolerated. It is extremely rare for patients to have a mild allergic rash (0.03% of cases).
Dosage and method
Modern rabies vaccine is administered intramuscularly. The standard dose is 1 ml. Adolescents and adults are injected into the deltoid muscle. For children, the drug is injected into the outer surface of the thighs. Rabies vaccine is not injected into the gluteal muscles.
The scheme consists of five intramuscular injections: on day 1, and then on days 3, 7, 14, and 30 from the moment of the animal bite. Some people are additionally given another dose on the 90th day. This technique is more effective and allows you not to torture a person with several dozens of injections in one day.
Efficacy of rabies vaccine
The drug against rabies can prevent the disease in 96% of cases. However, rabies vaccine gives the maximum effect, if you enter it no later than 14 days from the time of the bite. But immunization courses are recommended to be administered even several months after contact with suspicious or sick animals.
How rabies vaccine works
Two weeks after the first injection, antibodies appear in the body. Their concentration reaches a maximum after 30-40 days. However, in cases when it comes to a short incubation period (for bites in the neck, in the head, fingers and hands, multiple injuries), this period may be insufficient. Therefore, patients are additionally given injections of a rabies immunoglobulin. As a rule, a person acquires immunity 14 days after completion of the course. Its duration is about one year.
The importance of a full vaccination course
It should be understood that only a full course of anti-rabbit injections allows you to avoid death. Strangely enough, but even in the presence of such effective drugs as immunoglobulin and rabies vaccine, people continue to die of rabies.The fact is that many victims simply do not attach importance to the bites of animals and therefore do not seek medical assistance. Some, for various reasons, refuse vaccination. About 75% are among the dead. Approximately 12.5% of deaths are due to the mistakes of health workers who misjudge the situation. The same number of deaths occur in patients who interrupt their vaccination on their own or violate its regime.
Contraindications and features
Rabies vaccine and alcohol are incompatible. During the course of vaccination and six months after its termination, it is strictly forbidden to use alcohol. Hypercooling, overheating (in a bath or in the sun), overwork are also contraindicated in patients. These factors greatly reduce the activity of antibody production. If vaccination was carried out while taking immunosuppressants and corticosteroids, it is recommended to determine the presence of antibodies in the body by laboratory. If they are absent, another course of vaccination is prescribed to the patient.