Transmission is from the saliva of infected mammals to humans via broken skin or mucous membranes (eyes, mouth or nose) mostly from a from bite, scratch or lick. In rabies endemic regions, all wild and domestic mammals can be infected with the virus.
Rabies is almost 100% fatal once symptoms develop.
Pre exposure prophylaxis avoids the need for Human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG) which can be difficult to obtain and expensive.
A primary course consists of three does administered on days 0,7 and 28.
If time is limited an accelerated schedule can be followed with one dose administered on days 0,3 and 7. With this schedule however, for longer term protection, a 4th dose will be required after 12 months of the first dose.
Number of doses required: 3