NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Audit of post-exposure treatment to prevent lyssavirus infection in Sydney South West Area Health Service, 2005–2007

Adam T. Craig, Trish F. Mannes, Leena Gupta

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 20(6) 86–89 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/NB07124 Published online: 24 June 2009

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About the author/s

Adam T. Craig

Trish F. Mannes

Leena Gupta

Abstract

Objectives: To describe the profile of people who received post-exposure treatment to prevent lyssavirus infection in Sydney South West Area Health Service between 2005 and 2007 and to assess treatment compliance with the current NSW Health protocol. Methods: Thirty-eight public health files and a subset of 11 medical records were reviewed to collect demographic, exposure and treatment information for the period. Results: Twenty-nine (76%) potential exposures occurred overseas. Nine potential exposures occurred within Australia; eight of these resulted from a bat bite or scratch. Thirteen (34%) of all potential exposures resulted from handling an animal. Conclusion: Many potential exposures were the result of a bite or scratch from a domesticated animal; the animal’s survival or health status was not routinely recorded. While all people who commenced post-exposure treatment completed the prescribed course, this was often not within the stipulated timeframe.