Jump to content


[PSA] Rabies, the importance of vaccination, side-effects & my experiences so far.


  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

Scorpiany #1 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 01:13

    Major

  • Game Knowledge Expert
  • 36872 battles
  • 13,028
  • [N1NJA] N1NJA
  • Member since:
    06-27-2013

Hey folks. This is going to be an odd post to see on the Tanks Forums. It's going to be a different post - But I feel like it's an important PSA to make. And don't worry... I'm fine, mostly.

 

We're going to be talking about rabies. In particular, we're going to be talking about bats.


 

What happened?

 

About 1 week ago I was bitten by a bat while outside. It was very dark, and I was doing some work nearby one of my air duct vents. All of a sudden, I felt a prick in my hand, and a sudden shuffling next to me. I didn't know what had happened at first, until I got into the light. 2 little marks on my hand, just under 1cm apart. A little bit of pain, some redness. It was a bat that had bitten me. The bugger flew away right after the incident.

 

The question became, what do I do? What should I worry about? The first thing I did was begin washing off my hands thoroughly with soap and water, and I disinfected the wound. It didn't look bad after the washing. Two tiny little marks. A little bit of pain, but it would register a mere 2/10 on the pain index. Surely it's not serious - Right?

 

Well, a thought came to my mind - I remember reading about a case a couple years back about a girl dying from rabies after a bat bite. I went ahead and did some research on the matter, and decided to figure out if it's something to be worried about.


 

What makes a bat bite so serious?

 

"Left untreated, rabies is nearly 100% fatal. Bites to the hand are considered Category III exposures. Bat bites should be treated as Category III exposures. You should speak with a medical health professional as soon as possible after being bitten to determine your risk. If treatment is necessary, it must not be delayed."

 

Jesus, that's terrifying! Who's writing this? Is this WebMD or Wikipedia explaining the extreme? No, it's the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization's information! The International Rabies Alliance also confirms the same information.

 

And so, I quickly went to the ER. I was seen at the check-in gate and was immediately taken to a bay. I probably only sat in the waiting room for 1-2 minutes before being seen by an ER doctor. A quick examination of the wound, and the doctor recommended the same thing as the CDC and WHO would - Immediately begin undergoing PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).


 

What is PEP for? What's it like?

 

PEP is a barrage of vaccinations and neutralizating antibodies given to a person who is believed to have suffered a Category III exposure to the rabies virus.

 

It consists of a series of shots, given on 4 different days - Day 0 (First day of treatment, preferably same day of the exposure), Day 3, Day 7 and Day 14.

 

Day 0:

 

Day 0 is probably the most intrusive, and the most important, day of treatment. You receive 3 shots on Day 0. These include:

  • HRIG (Human Rabies Immunoglobulin) - As much as possible is injected into the wound site as possible. This is by far the most uncomfortable injection you will receive.
  • Rabies vaccine (PCEC or HDCV). There are two different vaccines you may receive, and both are equally effective, although rate of certain side effects may very from the two vaccines. This is what you receive on all 4 days.
  • Tetanus shot - If you haven't received a tetanus booster in the past 5 years, you'll receive one of these shots. If the wounds are more extensive, you may receive on regardless of your last shot.

 

The HRIG is injected directly into the wound site, and as much as anatomically possible is injected into the region as possible. Depending on your body mass, this may range from 6 CC to 15 CC (ml) of HRIG. In a region such as the wrist, that's a lot of HRIG to be receiving in a fairly small site. The needle is inserted... And physically prods around at an angle to lift as much of the surrounding skin around the wound as possible. As you'd expect, this site will swell and be painful for a while.

 

The remaining HRIG is then delivered as far away from the wound site as possible, into a muscle. In the case of my wrist bite, this meant I also received 1/3rd of the dose into my right shoulder.

 

The rabies vaccine and tetanus shot were then both delivered into my left shoulder.

 

Days 3 / 7 / 14:

 

Days 3, 7 and 14 all require follow up visits, but they're not nearly as intense or intrusive as Day 0's visit. You'll only be receiving one dose of the rabies vaccine with each of your follow up visits. While these visits are also extremely important, they should go much more smoothly for you - Assuming you don't experience any side-effects.


 

Why the ER?

 

While 30,000-50,000 people receive rabies PEP each year, that's only 1 in 10,000 people in the United States. It's not a common occurrence, and the urgency / severity of some animal bites, the rabies PEP regiment is considered a medical urgency. The vaccines also aren't usually carried in a local health care facility - Often times, only ER pharmacies will carry the necessary medications.

 

This means that for all 4 of my visits, I'll be going straight to the ER.


 

How am I feeling now?

 

Not well. After the Day 0 vaccines, I just had typical soreness and swelling, but nothing too bad. By Day 3, most of that was better, and the Day 3 vaccine went just fine.

 

Yesterday however, I received the Day 7 vaccine. And today has not been a good day for me, at all. I've been feeling very sick, my head hurts, I'm not hungry, I had diarrhea, my muscles are all aching, I'm super sore all over, I don't have much energy, I have chills going all down my body and I just can't feel warm.

 

I'll be calling my ER doctor from yesterday later this evening, and check in. While these side-effects from the vaccine are not all that uncommon, it's definitely not a common site to be seeing them after a rather normal Day 0 / Day 3. My body should be feeling better with these shots for Day 7 and Day 14 - Not worse.


 

What's my prognosis?

 

I should be absolutely fine. As poorly as I'm feeling today, these aren't unheard of side-effects from the vaccines.

 

When the rabies vaccine and PEP regiment is administered promptly and according to WHO guidelines, there's been a 100% success rate in the United States.

 

That being said, it is still going to be a roller coaster over the next couple of weeks. Monitoring for symptoms and making sure that vaccine side-effects don't become seriously (While rare, is certainly possible), is going to be the most important thing. Also keeping my immune system up and taking care of myself is going to be crucial.

 

I am going to be calling my ER doctor to discuss my current side-effects and treatment. I should be fine. But I may not be feeling well for the next couple of weeks.


 

Why the post?

 

This certainly has been a frightening experience for me. Even with the 100% success rate of PEP within the United States, even the PEP procedure itself has been an uncomfortable roller coaster.

 

It's also absolutely crucial that you take potential rabies exposures seriously. Rabies when left untreated is not only nearly always fatal, but it's considered to be one of the most painful and brutal disease deaths a person can suffer.

 

The thing is, it's also 100% treatable. If you seek prompt medical treatment, and follow through with your PEP regiment promptly and according to WHO and CDC instructions, then you can prevent the disease from developing in the first place.

 

Even though rabies exposures aren't very common in the US, why take the chances? Don't mess around with your life. Don't take your chances when this otherwise 100% fatal disease is 100% preventable and avoidable with proper post-exposure prophylaxis treatment.


Edited by Scorpiany, Feb 02 2019 - 01:14.


J3Tears #2 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 01:25

    Sergeant

  • -Players-
  • 4169 battles
  • 165
  • [PUBBY] PUBBY
  • Member since:
    03-08-2018
Scorpion's Guide to survival.   It was a good read and Definitely something important to be aware of.

Maltfourti #3 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 01:34

    Captain

  • Players
  • 45643 battles
  • 1,742
  • [-M1-] -M1-
  • Member since:
    11-05-2012
I went thru this 6 years ago due to a feral cat bite. The cat got away so it couldn't be tested. My job made me go to hospital. I've had "the treatment". Not the most fun. I truly feel your pain.

Augustus_Sohn #4 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 01:36

    First lieutenant

  • -Players-
  • 3331 battles
  • 979
  • [WCTNT] WCTNT
  • Member since:
    06-27-2014

Get better, Scorpy.

I thought I had it bad over here suffering through Shingles, which is no fun.

 

I come from a family full of nurses, so I've been given a lot of medical wisdom to try not to ignore over the years. Remember one of the golden rules of illness: if it doesn't get better or it gets worse, do not hesitate to go in and be seen by a doctor! 



FrozenKemp #5 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 01:38

    Major

  • Players
  • 52941 battles
  • 9,726
  • Member since:
    04-24-2011
Thanks for sharing that, Scorpiany.   Hope you feel better soon!

Ash_Canadian #6 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 01:39

    First lieutenant

  • -Players-
  • 64146 battles
  • 540
  • [WONKA] WONKA
  • Member since:
    04-10-2014

The effects of the PEP vaccination is not really all that bad if you consider the outcome of not getting the vaccinations.

 

I was going to add about the tetnus booster, and how important that is as well; but I see you got it in there.

 

Glad to hear you will ok.


Edited by Ash_Canadian, Feb 02 2019 - 01:39.


PapioTitan #7 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 01:41

    First lieutenant

  • -Players-
  • 45392 battles
  • 671
  • Member since:
    12-21-2013

The bat would have got sick if it bit me. 

 

Hoping for a quick recovery Scorp



cKy_ #8 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 01:41

    Major

  • -Players-
  • 4344 battles
  • 2,292
  • [PUBBY] PUBBY
  • Member since:
    09-29-2018

oof

 

 

 

thankfully i dont think there are rabies where i live. get well


Edited by cKy_, Feb 02 2019 - 01:43.


Scorpiany #9 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 01:47

    Major

  • Game Knowledge Expert
  • 36872 battles
  • 13,028
  • [N1NJA] N1NJA
  • Member since:
    06-27-2013

View PostMaltfourti, on Feb 01 2019 - 16:34, said:

I went thru this 6 years ago due to a feral cat bite. The cat got away so it couldn't be tested. My job made me go to hospital. I've had "the treatment". Not the most fun. I truly feel your pain.

 

I'm sorry that you had to go through the same thing. What kind of side-effects did you feel from the vaccines? When were they the worst? How long did they last for?

 

I'm curious, since I want to have a general idea of what to expect for the next couple of weeks. Of course I'm also going to talk to a doctor, but it's nice to have the thoughts of somebody who's experienced the same thing as me.

 

View PostAugustus_Sohn, on Feb 01 2019 - 16:36, said:

Get better, Scorpy.

I thought I had it bad over here suffering through Shingles, which is no fun.

 

I come from a family full of nurses, so I've been given a lot of medical wisdom to try not to ignore over the years. Remember one of the golden rules of illness: if it doesn't get better or it gets worse, do not hesitate to go in and be seen by a doctor! 

 

I hope Shingles won't give you too much trouble.

 

The last part of your post about not hesitating to see a doctor is something I'm taking very seriously. I rarely have gone to see the doctor before, and I've only had 2 ER visits in my life prior to now. But when I was concerned that a doctor's visit may be necessary, I make sure I check in and take it seriously.

 

At the end of the day, what do we really have? Our health is easily the most important thing we have, and something that can make all the difference during any ups and downs throughout life.

 

View PostAsh_Canadian, on Feb 01 2019 - 16:39, said:

The effects of the PEP vaccination is not really all that bad if you consider the outcome of not getting the vaccinations.

 

I was going to add about the tetnus booster, and how important that is as well; but I see you got it in there.

 

Glad to hear you will ok.

 

Of course. Feeling bad because of side-effects of the vaccines, versus the potential of death? I'm going to go with the vaccines.

 

In a couple of weeks, assuming everything goes well, I should feel back to normal and feel completely fine. Much better than being 6 feet under.



YANKEE137 #10 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 01:52

    Major

  • -Players-
  • 13893 battles
  • 6,544
  • [6-ACR] 6-ACR
  • Member since:
    08-17-2015
Glad you are OK and hope you develop superpowers/ get well soon.

MagillaGuerilla #11 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 02:21

    Major

  • -Players-
  • 25863 battles
  • 4,605
  • Member since:
    01-06-2013
Thanks Scorp. All animal bites mean a doctor's visit. My wife almost lost a finger to a bite from our cat that had all it's shots. But it had other bacteria too that isn't eradicated with the normal pet shots. Glad to see you're in recovery.

AndrewSledge #12 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 02:25

    Major

  • -Players-
  • 36161 battles
  • 2,022
  • [1_FFD] 1_FFD
  • Member since:
    04-14-2014

I hope you feel better soon, but all I can think about is the Office. ;)



tod914 #13 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 02:26

    Major

  • Players
  • 64387 battles
  • 6,517
  • Member since:
    12-23-2013
Feel better Scorp.  Not worth taking a chance on for sure.  Just read up on it.  Says it can lay dormant for 1-3 months before symptoms start.  I remember as a kid, my friend and I seen a bat flying around erratically during the day.  We shot it with our bb guns and called the Police.  They took it away testing.

mlinke #14 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 02:28

    Captain

  • Players
  • 52953 battles
  • 1,536
  • [DD-S] DD-S
  • Member since:
    06-14-2011
Bs. To much worry. I was bit by all kinds of animals. Still alive. Rabies is fatal to animals too. Very fast acting desease. They act strange, foam at mouth, act dizzy and too friebdly. Normal acting animal is in most cases safe. Bat will hardly carry rabbies. It is racoons and foxes that mostly carry them.

cKy_ #15 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 02:31

    Major

  • -Players-
  • 4344 battles
  • 2,292
  • [PUBBY] PUBBY
  • Member since:
    09-29-2018

View Postmlinke, on Feb 02 2019 - 13:28, said:

Bs. To much worry. I was bit by all kinds of animals. Still alive. Rabies is fatal to animals too. Very fast acting desease. They act strange, foam at mouth, act dizzy and too friebdly. Normal acting animal is in most cases safe. Bat will hardly carry rabbies. It is racoons and foxes that mostly carry them.

 

Well, rabies isn't everywhere. For example, I know for a fact that it isn't where I live, and it could well be absent from your location as well.

Scorpiany #16 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 02:41

    Major

  • Game Knowledge Expert
  • 36872 battles
  • 13,028
  • [N1NJA] N1NJA
  • Member since:
    06-27-2013

View Postmlinke, on Feb 01 2019 - 17:28, said:

Bs. To much worry. I was bit by all kinds of animals. Still alive. Rabies is fatal to animals too. Very fast acting desease. They act strange, foam at mouth, act dizzy and too friebdly. Normal acting animal is in most cases safe. Bat will hardly carry rabbies. It is racoons and foxes that mostly carry them.

 

While that is true that other animals are more common carriers of the disease, bats are responsible for the most rabies deaths in the United States. They're also the hardest to actually observe / test (Since it's so difficult to actually catch it after the encounter). This means that there's no real way of knowing how it was behaving in many cases.

 

Also, my region is known to have a higher number of infected bats than many other parts of the United States.

 

It's just not worth taking any chances. And even though you may have been bitten by many animals and are just fine, there are cases of people having single, barely visible bite after contact and dying from the disease. Even if the chances are small... When those chances involve a painful death, why take the risk?

 

View PostAndrewSledge, on Feb 01 2019 - 17:25, said:

I hope you feel better soon, but all I can think about is the Office. ;)

 

I've never actually watched the Office, but I almost always hear good things about the show. I should watch it at some point. :)

Edited by Scorpiany, Feb 02 2019 - 02:45.


heavymetal1967 #17 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 02:52

    Major

  • Players
  • 71992 battles
  • 21,506
  • [HSOLO] HSOLO
  • Member since:
    05-30-2012

Smart move going to the ER Scorp. 

 

A lot of times local health departments won't even test animals unless someone has been bitten.   And that's of course if they have it to test.

 

And canine distemper has some symptoms similar to rabies and affects raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes which are the most common animals (along with bats) that carry it.

 

You can get vaccinated pre-exposure, but even then you have to get some shots afterward iirc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



NiteDog #18 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 03:18

    Major

  • Players
  • 29493 battles
  • 7,067
  • [GFLC] GFLC
  • Member since:
    08-09-2011

After reading this post, I stopped calling my Wife a Bat! 

In all seriousness Skorpy, I hope you get better. Take care.



xrays_ #19 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 04:40

    Major

  • Players
  • 52133 battles
  • 4,255
  • Member since:
    08-02-2013

Get well scorpy, I already miss playing with you as it is, don't make it any worse!

 

And, sorry, but if you felt a prick in your hand, and it wasn't yours... Um... You know.

 

x.



Devil__Anse #20 Posted Feb 02 2019 - 05:09

    First lieutenant

  • Players
  • 1810 battles
  • 748
  • [HSOLO] HSOLO
  • Member since:
    05-05-2013
dude so sorry to hear this...prayers for a full recovery!  




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users