Rabies and post-exposure prophylaxis in Thai children

Thongcharoen, P.; Wasi, C.; Sirikawin, S.; Chaiprasithikul, P.; Puthavathana, P.

Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology 7(1): 41-46

1989


ISSN/ISBN: 0125-877X
PMID: 2751769
Document Number: 4532
Thailand is an endemic area for rabies, with approximately 300 human deaths reported annually. More than half of the rabies patients are children under 14 years of age. This paper reports clinical data of paediatric rabies cases occurring from 1980 to 1986, and the protective efficacies of human diploid cell rabies vaccine (HDCV) and purified Vero cell rabies vaccine (PVRV) in children exposed to rabid animals. The analysis of 120 medical records revealed that rabies in children had incubation periods which ranged from less than fifteen days to more than three months, but generally between one to three months. The most frequent symptoms observed in the patients were hydrophobia, restlessness, fever, vomiting and aerophobia. Most of the rabid children admitted to hospital died within 24 hours. HDCV was administered to 50 children exposed to rabies with the cumulative dosages of 327 ml. All patients survived without serious adverse effects during a-two year follow-up. Mild reactions were seen in 1.5 percent (5/327 doses). Unfortunately, levels of rabies antibody in these vaccinees were not determined. Among another series of children exposed to rabid animals, comprising 27 individuals who received a total of 168 doses of PVRV, only mild local reactions were seen in 6 subjects. No rabies deaths were reported in 2 years of follow-up. The children who received PVRV either with or without human rabies immune globulin developed similar levels of rabies neutralizing (NT) antibody, which reached the high titers on day 30. At one year after the first dose of vaccination, all vaccinees still had NT antibody at titers higher than 0.5 IU/ml.

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Rabies and post-exposure prophylaxis in Thai children