Postexposure treatment of rabies in Pakistan

Document Type



Community Health Sciences


To evaluate compliance with current World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for postexposure treatment (PET) of rabies, we interviewed all animal bite victims seeking treatment on the same day of each week from 28 December 1994 through 18 January 1995 at the Civil Hospital of Karachi (Pakistan), a major referral center. Of the 143 patients studied, 109 (76%) sustained bleeding transdermal bites (WHO category III). Overall, wounds were not washed with soap or an antiseptic in 69% of victims. All victims received 5% sheep brain-derived vaccine, and only three of the 109 victims with category III bites received rabies immune globulin. PET of rabies in Karachi was deficient by all WHO standards. Although there is a great urgency to improve PET, it will remain a costly and inefficient method of controlling rabies. Reduction of rabies reservoirs is required to decrease human deaths due to rabies in Pakistan and other developing countries in which canine rabies is endemic.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Clinical Infectious Diseases