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Dr. Anil
Dr. Anil, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 9262
Experience:  M.B.B.S.M.D with over 30 years of experience in this medical field.
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I was just bitten by a cat and the owner tells me he is sure

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I was just bitten by a cat and the owner tells me he is sure the cat gets rabies shots every year, the last time in April 2013. Can I still get rabies from this cat bit.
To make matters more complicated I had a cat bit 2 years ago and got the full rabies shots treatment. So when I went to the emergency room the doctor said he looked it up and because I got the full series of rabies shots 2 years ago I only need, far safety, 2 vacine shots. One now I just got and one in 3 days. But the doctor did not give me 2 shots today. I think, not sure he gave me rabies denatured antigen shot today and I will get again in 3 days, but no antibody shot today because I got an antibody shot 2 years ago. To me 2 years is too long to not give an antibody shot now along with the vacine.
I am in Thailand where there is a rabies problem, so I am worried.


The duration of immunity afforded to humans by a full rabies vaccination course is between two to three years.

Usually booster injection may be needed after 2 years as suggested by your doctor.

More over the cat vaccination status is known so animal is not at a risk of rabies.

Also World Health Organization's recommendation that observing suspected rabid animal for10 days is an adequate and safe practice.

So you can observe the cat in question for 10 days and if it show no signs of illness it is not associated with rabies.

I do think that with the booster injections you may not require any further treatment as advised by your doctor.

Rabipur ( is commonly prescribed by doctors here for animal bite.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well, I should have said this before, the owner (Thai) is not reliable. That the owner says the animal is vacinated every year does not mean that the animal is. It just means that the animal's owner says she is.

The animal spends 80% of her time on the street, maybe 20% of her time with the owner, and the owner is not inclined to isolate the animal for 10 days. So if the animal is "missing" after 7 days, for example, then the animal, again, must be suspected as a carrier. I understand that if the animal is around and healthy 10 days from now i can worry less.

More importantly, I have read on the internet that an "immunized person" needs only one vacine shot at the time of the bite, and one shot 3 days later, but nowhere on the internet can I find out how long after receiving a full vacination course is a person considered to be an immunized person.

For me, for sure I will get the vaccination shot again in 3 days (making a total of 2 vacination shots). Since I received the full course of vacination 2 years ago (rabipur). How long after getting the full course of vacine is it that a person only needs 2 further shots of vaccine, not 5 like I got 2 years ago?

Also on the intenet it says that an immunized person does not need a rabies immunoglobulin shot. They did not give me an imunoglobulin shot? Am I safe because I got the full course 2 years ago? Or should I have received an imunoglobulin shot immediately after the bite?

I think the Thai doctor did right here, but there are still some questions and complications in my mind which is why (sorry) I am writing you this follow up'

Main I fully considered to be an "immunized person" after receiving the full course of treatment 2 years ago? I understand I need 2 more vacination question is, is 2 more vacination shots adequate for sure?

The literature of the rabipur vaccine says that booster dose is needed after 2 to 5 years.

Rapid Focus-Fluorescent inhibition Test- This test measures the ability of antibodies that may be present in a sample to neutralize and block rabies virus from infecting the cells used in the test.

As per WHO a booster dose of rabipur should be given should the antibody titre fall below 0.5 IU/ml.This is done in high risk people who are at risk of exposure to rabies.

Usually reinforcing doses are generally required every 2-5 years.

So if you want to be extra sure you can discuss with your doctor about this test.

Yes 2 booster doses are adequate.

Immunoglobulin shot is given in persons with Grade-3 category contact with suspected rabied animal like transdermal bites, immunocompromised persons.

These shot provide passive immunity( Transfer of ready-made antibodies).

Immunoglobulin shots are required only in person with unknown immune status with severe exposure.

If a person is immunized, Immunoglobulin shots are not required.

I hope this helps

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