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Dr. Ravoof
Dr. Ravoof, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5081
Experience:  Experienced Physician in the field of Medicine and Surgery.
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I've been bitten by a bat around 10 years ago, likely more

Customer Question

I've been bitten by a bat around 10 years ago, likely more than 10 years. I'm going to see my GP about the prospect of getting a rabies vaccine to get my mind at ease with regards ***** ***** prospect of a long-term incubation period as I've heard was documented in rare occasions. My question is, is the likelihood of serious and permanent side-effects from the vaccine greater than the likelihood of getting sick of rabies in my case? Is it worthwhile to get vaccinated or is it more of a risk?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Ravoof replied 2 years ago.
Dear customer, The incubation period for rabies is usually 2 to 12 weeks, although it can be as short as four days. It is unusual and rare for the incubation period to last for more than a year. There is a documented case of 7 years after exposure. Hence according to guidelines in many countries people who present for treatment even months after a possible rabies exposure should be evaluated and treated as if the event had occurred recently. Hence your doctor needs to take all of this evidence into consideration and also your anxiety and decide whether to vaccinate or not. The side effects of rabies vaccine can be either general in nature or allergic in origin. The general adverse reactions include sore arm, headache, malaise, nausea, fever and localized swelling at the site of injection. These side effects are transient and not permanent. My opinion is that in your case since it is more than 10 years vaccination may not be indicated for you. Take care.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your answer! I did read of cases, though indeed they were debated, of 19 years or even 25 years of incubation; the cases were said to be extremely rare. Having learnt about these cases I became a bit concerned and can't gauge the risks so I'm after expert advice. Also, I've heard that the vaccine, in rare cases (though not clear how many in percent), did present serious symptoms such as the Guillain-Barré syndrome. My interest is gaining an indication of what course of action presents the less risk in my case?
Expert:  Dr. Ravoof replied 2 years ago.
Dear customer, In your case I would advice against getting vaccinated since the risk of side effects is more than your risk of getting rabies. Take care.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you again!
So you mean the risks of getting serious, permanent, side-effects or the risk of getting transient side-effects such as headaches and pain at the injection site?Regards.
Expert:  Dr. Ravoof replied 2 years ago.
Dear customer, I mean the transient side effects. The permanent side effects are also extremely rare and perhaps non existent, just as getting rabies after more than 10 years of exposure. http://healthitpedia.weebly.com/healthcare/vaccines-not-linked-to-guillain-barr-asserts-13-year-trial Take care.
Expert:  Dr. Ravoof replied 2 years ago.
http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/57/2/197
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the detailed answers and the links provided!
If I understand correctly, my chances of ending up with a serious problem in the future are slim regardless if I get vaccinated or not. Correct?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will have my appointment with my GP to hear their expert opinion as well but your answers were very helpful!
Expert:  Dr. Ravoof replied 2 years ago.
Dear customer, Thanks for your reply. Yes you are correct. Please rate the answer with a positive rating. Thanks.
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