Rabies | Testing

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Rabies (Lyssa) ICD-9 071; ICD-10 A82

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CDC Testing Information

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The purpose of testing living patients for rabies is not to determine a course of treatment, but to confirm the need for the extraordinary measures required to keep the number of health care workers requiring post-exposure prophylaxis to a minimum, and to determine whether post-exposure prophylaxis should be started on those already exposed. Specimen submission must be done in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protocol, and the CDC's patient information form must be completed and included with the specimen.

This document should be used as a tool to assist attending physicians in making the determination whether human rabies testing is required in a particular case. The Rabies Division at CDC confirms that in most instances, rabies can be ruled out as the result of answering a few simple questions rather than by specimen testing.

Rabies Testing in Humans