1921
Volume 90, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

We surveyed Peace Corps Medical Officers (PCMOs) to determine the frequency of and responses to possible rabies exposures of U.S. Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs). Surveys were sent to 56 PCMOs serving in countries with moderate or high rabies vaccine recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of which 38 (68%) responded. Thirty-seven PCMOs reported that, of 4,982 PCVs, 140 (3%) experienced possible rabies exposures. Of these, 125 (89%) had previously received rabies vaccination, 129 (92%) presented with adequately cleansed wounds, and 106 (76%) were deemed to require and were given post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Of 35 respondents, 30 (86%) reported that rabies vaccine was always accessible to PCVs in their country within 24 hours. Overall, the Peace Corps is successful at preventing and treating possible rabies exposures. However, this study identified a few gaps in policy implementation. The Peace Corps should continue and strengthen efforts to provide education, preexposure vaccination, and PEP to PCVs.

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  • Received : 09 Sep 2013
  • Accepted : 05 Feb 2014
  • Published online : 07 May 2014

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