Responding to Potential Exposure to Rabid Animals

College of Veterinary Medicine Student Handbook
All students and all new hires who will have contact with animals should be advised of the requirement for rabies prophylactic vaccination.
  1. Employees should be advised that rabies prophylactic vaccinations are available through the occupational health program at no cost to them. 
  2. Students should be informed of the requirement for prophylactic vaccination on matriculation to the CVM.  Currently materials outlining the requirement are sent to admitted students prior to their arrival on campus and are re-iterated during orientation. 
  3. ECFVG and other transfer students should be made aware of the requirement by the administrator responsible for their admission and matriculation. 
  4. Students wishing to receive the prophylactic vaccinations should be referred to the Purdue University Student Health Center.  They should also be advised that they are responsible for all costs of vaccination. 
All personnel who come in contact with a potential rabies suspect should be asked by the attending veterinarian if they have had the rabies prophylactic series of vaccinations.   
  1. All students and staff should be advised of the potential for rabies exposure associated with a particular case. 
  2. Non-vaccinated individuals should be advised that exposure to rabies would require both post-exposure vaccination with rabies vaccine and the administration of rabies immunoglobulin. 
  3. Students should be advised that they are responsible for all costs incurred for post-exposure treatment regardless of the nature of the exposure. 
  4. Students and staff with questions or concerns should be referred to a health care professional. Recommended health care resources include, but are not limited to, Robert Golden at REM (local public health contact) and Julianee Stout, MD.
If an animal tests positive for rabies, or if an animal is suspected of having rabies and the animal becomes unavailable for rabies testing, potentially exposed personnel must be advised of their risk.
  1. The attending veterinarian should contact the Director of the Teaching Hospital who will be responsible for identifying all involved individuals and communicating necessary information. 
  2. All personnel who have come in contact with the animal should immediately be informed of the rabies status of the animal. 
  3. All potentially exposed personnel should be given a rabies exposure information sheet outlining their potential risk of exposure and appropriate response. 
  4. All potentially exposed personnel should be counseled to seek the advice of a health care professional if they are concerned that an exposure might have occurred. 
  5. Post-exposure prophylaxis should be administered by an appropriate health care professional in all cases deemed a likely rabies exposure.  This treatment should occur as soon as possible, but not before all information is available for determining whether a rabies exposure occurred. 
  6. Employees should be advised that they can receive rabies post-exposure prophylaxis through the Workman’s Compensation Program at no cost to them 
  7. Students should be advised that they are responsible for all costs of treatment regardless of the nature or circumstance of the exposure.  Depending upon vaccine availability, students may be directed to seek prophylaxis at the Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH) or another health care provider in the area.  

It is ultimately the responsibility of the exposed individual and the treating health care professional to make the decision as to whether post-exposure prophylaxis is required or desired. 

If an animal tests positive for rabies, or if an animal bites someone and is suspected of having rabies and the animal becomes unavailable for rabies testing, all human and animal health agencies must be advised of potential rabies exposures in accordance with Indiana Law. 

At Purdue University, the local public health official is Robert Golden with REM. 

All instances of animal bites or rabies exposure should be reported as injuries to Purdue University (Workman’s Compensation) on a First Report of Injury Form.  

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

© 2017 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by PVM Web Communications

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact PVM Web Communications at vetwebteam@purdue.edu.