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Author Topic: My Rabies Anxiety  (Read 266 times)

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Offline andy1987

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My Rabies Anxiety
« on: December 17, 2013, 05:37:23 PM »
Having seen one or two threads about rabies here, I also have my own to share.

I was on holiday on an island called Koh Phi Phi in Thailand a few weeks ago. I had a sizeable, open cut on my ankle caused by me scratching myself in my sleep as a result of bed bugs or allergies. On one particular night, I got really drunk at a beach party and only remember around 90% of the walk home. This particular island has a fair number of stray cats and a few stray dogs which I noticed during day. I can't say I remember seeing of them at night, but I can't be sure either as I was drunk. I was wearing shorts as well.

Anyway towards the end of my holiday, I started thinking about this particular night and it started worrying me quite a bit that walking around Thailand with an open cut, whilst drunk on an island with a few stray animals was quite a stupid thing to do.

It's worried me so much, that on my return to the UK, I went to the travel clinic for an opinion. The doctor reassured me that the risk was very low as even though I was drunk, stray cats or dogs don't usually come up to humans and if I'd been attacked by a rabid one, I would have definitely had known. However, as a precaution, she started the 5 injections post exposure treatment. I am now halfway through the course - which is being paid for by the UK NHS as there is enough risk.

The problem is, I started this course 12 days after this night. Ideally you should be having PEP treatment within 24 hours of an exposure.

My anxiety is that if there had been an exposure, I've left it far too late to get treatment. I also feel slight intermittent tingling in my legs and feet and am having problems sleeping. Although I'm not sure whether this is being caused by my anxiety.

I guess the only reason I've posted on here, is to get this off my chest. I've told only virtually no one about this aside from the doctor. I'm very anxious and just hope I didn't get exposed and that if I did, the shots work.
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Offline GADawg87

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Re: My Rabies Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 07:02:39 PM »
I've read before that you are good if you start the vaccine before the main symptoms start. Whenever I had my previous rabies scare, I also remember feeling some odd sensations after taking the shots. However, I started my shots on the day of the bite.
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Offline andy1987

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Re: My Rabies Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2013, 08:35:06 AM »
Thanks for replying. I wasn't given the immunogoblin because it was considered such low risk.

However I hear so many differing views on when the vaccine should be administered! Some say within 24 hours, others say within 10 days, others say as long as its done before symptoms show.

If I can get through the 2 month period without showing symptoms, my anxiety might ease off slightly as most people develop rabies in this time frame.

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Offline H2O

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Re: My Rabies Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2013, 05:42:06 PM »
Even if you got bit which is a .0000000000001% chance, 12 days is more than enough time to get a rabies vaccine. I think even if you were drunk and remember 90% of the night, you would remember getting bit by a rabid animal. Every rabies thread I've seen has been based on hypothetical with extremely low chances. Fact is there is no way you can get rabies.
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Offline GADawg87

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Re: My Rabies Anxiety
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2013, 09:31:03 PM »
I've also read that if you bit on your lower extremities (such as the legs), that you have only around a 5-10% of actually contracting the disease and the incubation period is longer than if you got bit on the head. I've read of people actually holding bats and getting bit on the hands that didn't contract the disease until six weeks later. My current time incident was 9 days ago on my legs, but I'm almost to the point of just going to the ER and demanding the shot. I've never had pain and soreness that has lasted for nine days in one spot, even though the only things that indicate that a bite occurred was a small scratch and a raised dot.  If it makes you feel any better, I'm worried about this and I had the immunoglobin two and a half years ago. Once you have an encounter with rabies once, it only makes you always  fearful of it if you already have a predisposition to anxiety. Before I had my first rabies encounter, I only had mild anxiety towards the disease.
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Offline andy1987

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Re: My Rabies Anxiety
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2013, 05:09:29 AM »
I guess my concern isn't about being bitten - I would have definitely known if I was bitten. But a potential licking on the open cut on my ankle which I wasn't aware about. However, I am fairly sure I didn't come across any dogs or cats on my 5 minute walk back to my hotel.

My worry at the moment, is the fact I have had intermittent throbbing/prickling on my left leg - which happens to be where that cut is. Sometimes it spreads to my right leg. Very intermittent though - a throb might come every few minutes. The prickling might last a few minutes but then not return for the rest of the day. It's been like this for just over a week.

The throbbing has happened a few times in my sleep - its enough to wake up.

No other "symptoms" have presented though. No headache or feeling of being unwell, fever etc.

I'm hoping its just anxiety or side effects of the rabipur vaccine. Although I'm fairly close to going back to the doctors and asking for immunogoblin just to be extra safe.
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Offline andy1987

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Re: My Rabies Anxiety
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 07:38:47 AM »
Just an update, still getting the weird sensations on my left leg which occasionally goes to my right leg. Sometimes a prickly feeling, other times a sensation of crawling. However its very periodic and has stopped happening in my sleep.

I've asked the doctor who gave me the vaccine, she said its very unlikely to be side effects.

I *think* its anxiety causing this. Well I really hope it is. I've had it for over a week. As I said again, I've had no other symptoms related to rabies - no headache, no fever, no feeling of sickness, no malaise etc.

I get it even when I'm not feeling anxious....however I have been anxious for the best part of three weeks so perhaps my body is just still reacting to my mind, even when I think I'm relaxed?

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