Travel Medicine / Vaccination / Immunization Expert Forum
Non-Bite Rabies Exposure
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Questions in the Travel Medicine forum are answered by Dr. Philip D Parks, affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health. Topics covered include disease prevention, finding a doctor abroad, food and water safety, illness and injury abroad, mosquito and tick protection, resources for travelers, traveling with children or pets, traveling with special needs, vaccinations and immunizations.

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Non-Bite Rabies Exposure

I have been feeding a stray cat for a couple of weeks.  Tonight he rolled over playing and clawed my foot.  Barely broke the skin but there was a little bit of blood.  The scratch is so superficial I can barely see where it was now.  I hate to trap him and quarantine him.  Is that necessary?  Should I be concerned?
Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello,

In general, the type of scratch that you describe from a cat results in extremely low (if not close to zero risk) risk of rabies.

You should call your local public health department if you are concerned about the cat's signs/symptoms.

Please feel free to respond with additional questions that you may have.

~ Dr. Parks

This answer provided to you is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this Medhelp.org posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
2 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
I just looked at health dept statistics for my area and as of May 19, there have been no confirmed cases of rabies in my city.
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