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Malawi Medical Journal

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Evidence of Rise in Rabies Cases in Southern Malawi – Better Preventative Measures Are Urgently Required

SJ Depani, N Kennedy, M Mallewa, EM Molyneux

Abstract


We describe five children who died of clinical rabies in a three month period (September to November 2011) in the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. From previous experience and hospital records, this number of cases is higher than expected. We are concerned that difficulty in accessing post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) rabies vaccine may be partly responsible for this rise. We advocate: (a) prompt course of active immunisation for all patients with significant exposure to proven or suspected rabid animals. (b) the use of an intradermal immunisation regime that requires a smaller quantity of the vaccine than the intramuscular regime and gives a better antibody response. (c) improved dog rabies control measures



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