Rabies Immune Globulin (Human) Heat Treated, IMOGAM® Rabies HT, is indicated for individuals suspected of exposure to rabies, particularly severe exposure, with one exception: persons who have been previously immunized with Rabies Vaccine prepared from human diploid cells (HDCV) in a pre-exposure or post-exposure treatment series should receive only vaccine. Persons who have been previously immunized with Rabies Vaccines other than HDCV, RVA (Rabies Vaccine Adsorbed), or PCEC (Purified Chick Embryo Cell Vaccine) vaccines should have confirmed adequate rabies antibody titers if they are to receive only vaccine.
IMOGAM® Rabies HT should be injected as promptly as possible after exposure along with the first dose of vaccine. If initiation of treatment is delayed for any reason,
IMOGAM® Rabies HT and the first dose of vaccine should still be given, regardless of the interval between exposure and treatment. IMOGAM® Rabies HT may be given up to eight days after the first dose of vaccine was given.
Rabies virus is usually transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal (dog, bat, etc.) but can occasionally penetrate abraded skin contaminated with the saliva of infected animals. Progress of the virus after exposure is believed to follow a neural pathway and the time between exposure and clinical rabies is a function of the proximity of the bite (or abrasion) to the central nervous system and the dose of virus injected. The incubation is usually 2 to 6 weeks but can be longer. After severe bites about the face and neck and arms, it may be as short as 10 days. After initiation of the vaccine series (human diploid cell origin), it takes approximately one week for development of immunity to rabies; therefore, the value of immediate passive immunization with rabies antibodies in the form of Rabies Immune Globulin (Human) cannot be overemphasized.
Recommendations for passive and/or active immunization after exposure to an animal suspected of having rabies have been outlined by the WHO and by the United States Public Health Service Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Each exposure to possible rabies infection must be individually evaluated. Local or state public health officials should be consulted if questions arise about the need for rabies prophylaxis.
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