First person to ever survive rabies reflects on becoming a mom
How to Survive Rabies Shots
If an animal that may have rabies bites you, the idea of getting rabies shots can be a bit frightening. However, seeing a doctor promptly and following through with the vaccines can save your life. See your doctor right away if an animal that may have rabies bites you. Rabies is a fatal disease, but it can be prevented if you receive the appropriate post-exposure prophylaxis, such as rabies IgG and the rabies vaccine.
Knowing What To Expect
Learn what the rabies vaccine regimen entails.Knowing what to expect can help to ease any anxiety around the procedure.
- Assuming you have been bitten or scratched by an animal with a risk of being infected with rabies, you will first receive the rabies immune globulin or IgG. IgG is an antibody that is effective immediately at fighting off any rabies that may be present in your body.The vaccine takes a couple of weeks to develop your immunity, but IgG will protect you during this period.
- You will also receive the rabies vaccine on the same day, which is a separate thing. The immunity from the rabies vaccine kicks in within about 2 weeks.
- You will then receive 3 additional "follow-up" rabies vaccines - on day 3 post-exposure, day 7 post-exposure, and day 14 post-exposure, respectively. This is to ensure that it is maximally effective in your system. Because of the high risk and fatality of a rabies infection, it is extremely important that you follow through with all vaccinations scheduled.
- Both the rabies "immune globulin" as well as the rabies vaccine are safe to give to pregnant women and children.
Be aware of possible side effects of the vaccine.Similar to getting a flu shot, the arm muscle where you receive the injection may be sore afterwards, and you may have mild symptoms of fever or generalized muscle aches.This is normal and nothing to worry about.
Complete the treatment regimen.If you follow through with the whole treatment regimen for rabies, your chances for "cure" are near 100%. The main reasons that rabies becomes dangerous are that either you are in a developing country or a location where vaccination is not available, or you ignore the risk of the animal bite and fail to be treated quickly.As long as you seek treatment immediately after exposure, the risk is very low.
Surviving the Vaccine
Bring a friend with you.If you are worried about getting the rabies vaccine, having a friend accompany you to the emergency room can provide an emotional support. Also, if you are nervous around the idea of shots, having someone else to drive you to and from the hospital can help to ensure safety while driving.
Stay calm.It is important to fully relax your arm before getting the needle put in, as this will minimize the pain. If your muscles are tense, the shot will hurt a lot more. Some strategies to relax include:
- Look away from the needle. Some people get very anxious at the sight of a needle that is about to enter their arm. If this is the case for you, it can be helpful to look away and to distract yourself.
- . Focusing on deep breaths can help your whole body to relax, and also help to minimize any tension that may be present in the muscle receiving the vaccine.
- Talk to the person giving you the shot. While looking away, it can also be helpful to distract your mind. One easy way to do this is to make small talk with the nurse giving you the vaccine. It can also help to get your mind off the worry of the pain that is to come. The great thing is that, when your mind is distracted, having a vaccine can be nearly painless!
Celebrate!If you are someone who is fearful of vaccines, be proud of yourself for following through with the series of rabies vaccines. It is a long process, but one that is extremely important for your health and wellbeing, so be proud of yourself for conquering your fears.
Understanding the Importance of Getting Vaccinated
Be aware that rabies, if untreated, can be fatal.If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal that you suspect may have rabies, it is critical that you seek medical attention promptly. Even when you are treated after you have been exposed to rabies, the good news is that if treatment is done quickly enough you will recover just fine.
Know which animals can carry rabies.In developing countries, dog bites are responsible for 90% of cases of rabies in humans.However, in North America the greatest risk for humans comes from bats. Rabies is also common in raccoons, skunks, and foxes.
Understand that "surviving" the rabies shots is your "best shot" at surviving.Therefore, as you prepare to get vaccinated, know that you are doing the right thing. Putting it in context like this can help to ease tension around getting the vaccine, for the benefits far outweigh the hassle or the fear of getting a needle put into you.
QuestionHow do I prevent rabies after a week of exposure?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGo to the emergency room as soon as possible to get rabies vaccines. If you can get shots before symptoms begin, you're fine, but you have get them as soon as you can.Thanks!
QuestionIf my cat doesn't have rabies, do I really need to get it vaccinated?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA vaccination is a shot given in advance to prevent contracting a disease. You need to vaccinate your cat against rabies in case it encounters a rabid animal. Even if yours is an indoor cat, an animal infected with rabies could get into the house (a bat, for example) and expose your cat to it. Without being vaccinated, your cat would need to get a series of rabies shots after exposure.Thanks!
QuestionDo the rabies shots hurt?JuliaAnneCommunity AnswerThey feel the same as any other vaccination. Even though it hurts for a little bit of time, it is much better than actually getting rabies.Thanks!
QuestionHow soon can I get a rabies shot after getting bit by an animal with rabies?JuliaAnneCommunity AnswerYou should get a rabies shot as soon as possible, hopefully right after you were bitten. Rabies is easier to treat closer the to time you were bitten.Thanks!
QuestionDo carriers of rabies exhibit any symptoms?JuliaAnneCommunity AnswerSome common symptoms are fever, headache, foaming around the mouth, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion.Thanks!
QuestionDo I need a rabies shot if the dog that scratched me is up to date on its shots?JuliaAnneCommunity AnswerIf your dog got its rabies vaccine, then you are fine. Rabies is usually transmitted through the mouth, such as if the dog bit you.Thanks!
Video: SICK FOR THREE MONTHS: MY EXPERIENCES WITH THE RABIES VACCINE
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