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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

K.'s Rabies Treatment

Because I have nothing to add, I got K'.s permission to quote the bulk of a follow-up email that she wrote to her friends, giving all the scoop on her rabies treatment.   I think this furnishes a lot of interesting and useful information on what is involved with rabies treatment in today's world.  She wrote:

Hi All,
I just got out of the UVA emergency room. Got the call this morning from 
the health dept that the fox tested POSITIVE for rabies (which was no 
surprise to me). The treatment must begin within 14 days of exposure. 
Today I got the first 5 shots, then there are 4 more or so on exact 
dates, into Sept. It is very expensive, but will be cheaper from here on 
out through the health dept for the rest of the shots, (except this 
Sunday's dose since health dept not open on weekends). The first dose of 
five shots has to be done in the hospital ER. They moved me right into 
"express care" (I'd never heard of that!) and the normal 2hour wait for 
the vaccines to be prepared by the in-hospital pharmacy was expedited, 
beginning as soon as I registered, while I was in the waiting room. 
First question from all the nurses: WHY DID YOU WAIT THIS LONG??!!  I 
was told to report the idiot emt guy immediately since even a paw 
scratch is considered "CRITICAL EXPOSURE," because rabies is 100% fatal 
once it begins.

I knew the guy was off-base, but the nurse counted up a list of all the 
things he told me that put me at risk, and could cause danger in a 
future victim. In all fairness, there was no reason for me to go in an 
ambulance that night, at a big cost, and I agreed with him on that. But 
he should have said for me to drive myself there after cleaning the 
wound thoroughly. Instead he said "they won't treat you at the emergency 
room until they have proof the fox has rabies, rabies is unlikely, no 
danger at all if only a scratch, treatment is 6 mos long painful and 
expensive, no animal enters a house if not looking for food, animal 
control only deals with domestic pets, and he would have let the fox run 
free (after giving it a hot dog)."

So, great news is I'm going to be fine! It is not nearly as awful a 
treatment as it used to be (6 months of extremely painful shots in the 
stomach muscles), although those first five (one in each point on my leg 
where the teeth scratched me, two on both sides of my backside, one in 
my shoulder) made me feel I deserve a lollipop. Best of all, the vaccine 
lasts forever: Come at me, rabies foxes!


Blogger LeftLeaningLady said...

Your poor friend, K, has had a bad week, but good things will come. I am happy that she has common sense and I hope she makes a case against that JackAss who advised her incorrectly. I get a lot of questions about different things at work. Either I KNOW, or I say, I THINK, BUT you should ask...

Please give her a lollipop!

11:52 PM  

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