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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Health Care Provider Information

Environmental Health

Animal on Human Exposure Guidance

When your facility has knowledge of an incident where a human has been exposed to a suspected or known rabid animal, it is required by Chapter 381, Florida Statutes & Chapter 64D-3, Florida Administrative Code that exposures are reported to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in your county.

Fax an Animal Bite Report to FDOH in Hillsborough County (813) 272-7242.

NOTE: A suspected rabid animal is any mammal capable of transmitting rabies regardless of risk category. An animal cannot be ruled out as suspect until a full rabies investigation and/or testing has been completed by the FDOH.
Animal Scratches

Scratches from high risk animals are to be reported. (Raccoons, bats, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, and stray cats and dogs).
Provoked scratches from healthy appearing dogs with a rabies vaccine history do not need to be reported.

The FDOH will follow up on all human exposures to determine whether the animal will be observed for 10 days or tested to determine post-exposure prophylaxis recommendation.

Decision Tree - Post-Exposure Rabies Prophylaxis (PEP)

The following recommendations are only a guide.  In applying them, take into account the animal species involved, the circumstances of the bite or other exposure, the vaccination status of the animal, the availability  of the exposing animal for observation or rabies testing, and the presence of rabies in the region.  Local or state health officials should be consulted if questions arise about the need for rabies prophylaxis.

Post-Exposure Rabies Prophylaxis Decision Tree

The decision to initiate rabies post-exposure prophylaxis after a potential exposure should be made following a thorough risk assessment. Post-exposure prophylaxis includes rabies vaccine with or without rabies immune globulin. The specific regimen depends upon the patient's prior rabies vaccine history.


Administration Guidance and Schedule - Rabies PEP

The following guidance and schedule is provided for the administration of the Post-Exposure Rabies Prophylaxis (PEP).

PEP Administration Guidance and Schedule