There is no known cure for symptomatic rabies, but it can be prevented by vaccination, both in humans and other animals.

  1. Individuals who are in high-risk occupations (veterinarians, wildlife workers/rehabilitators, animal control personnel, and rabies laboratory workers) should be immunized with rabies vaccine prior to exposure. In some circumstances, international travelers should also be immunized against rabies prior to travel.
  2. The second way rabies can be prevented is by vaccination after an exposure has occurred but before symptoms develop (post-exposure prophylaxis). It consists of 1 shot of immune serum given the first day of treatment and 5 shots of vaccine given over a period of 1 month. The serum is infiltrated around the wound, and the vaccine is given in the arm. Post-exposure prophylaxis, when given properly, has been extremely effective in preventing rabies in humans bitten by known rabid animals.