What medical attention do I need if I am exposed to rabies?

One of the most effective methods to decrease the chances for infection involves thorough washing of the wound with soap and water. Specific medical attention for someone exposed to rabies is called postexposure prophylaxis or PEP. In the United States, postexposure prophylaxis consists of a regimen of one dose of immune globulin and five doses of rabies vaccine over a 28-day period. Rabies immune globulin and the first dose of rabies vaccine should be given by your health care provider as soon as possible after exposure. 

Additional doses or rabies vaccine should be given on days 3, 7, 14, and 28 after the first vaccination. Current vaccines are relatively painless and are given in your arm, like a flu or tetanus vaccine.

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1. How do people get rabies?
2. Can I get rabies in any way other than an animal bite?
3. How soon after an exposure should I seek medical attention?
4. What medical attention do I need if I am exposed to rabies?
5. Will the rabies vaccine make me sick?
6. What if I cannot get rabies vaccine on the day I am supposed to get my next dose?
7. Can rabies be transmitted from one person to another?