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Rabies, Human
2011 Case Definition

CSTE Position Statement(s)

  • 10-ID-16

Clinical Description

Rabies is an acute encephalomyelitis that almost always progresses to coma or death within 10 days after the first symptom.

Laboratory Criteria for Diagnosis

  • Detection of Lyssavirus antigens in a clinical specimen (preferably the brain or the nerves surrounding hair follicles in the nape of the neck) by direct fluorescent antibody test, OR
  • Isolation (in cell culture or in a laboratory animal) of a Lyssavirus from saliva or central nervous system tissue, OR
  • Identification of Lyssavirus specific antibody (i.e. by indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) test or complete rabies virus neutralization at 1:5 dilution) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), OR
  • Identification of Lyssavirus specific antibody (i.e. by indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) test or complete rabies virus neutralization at 1:5 dilution) in the serum of an unvaccinated person, OR
  • Detection of Lyssavirus viral RNA (using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction [RT-PCR]) in saliva, CSF, or tissue.

Case Classification

Confirmed

A clinically compatible case that is laboratory confirmed by testing at a state or federal public health laboratory.

Comments

Laboratory confirmation by all of the above methods is strongly recommended.



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