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CASE REPORT
Rabies encephalitis in a child: a failure of rabies post exposure prophylaxis?
  1. Faten Tinsa1,
  2. Aida Borgi2,
  3. Imen Jahouat1,
  4. Khadija Boussetta1
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics B, Children's Hospital Bechir Hamza of Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia
  2. 2Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Children's Hospital Bechir Hamza, Tunis, Tunisia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aida Borgi, aidabdoc{at}yahoo.fr

Summary

Rabies remains a serious public health problem in many developing countries. The diagnosis is easy when a non-immunised patient presents with hydrophobia and hypersalivation after a bite by a known rabid animal but more difficult when a patient presents atypical symptoms after having received rabies postexposure prophylaxis. Rabies postexposure prophylaxis failure is rare. We report a case of a 6-year-old boy who presented febrile seizure with agitation and cerebellar signs, without hydrophobia or hypersalivation, 17 days after a dog bite. Despite four doses of rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin, he died. Diagnostic confirmation of rabies encephalitis was made in post mortem on brain biopsies by fluorescent antibody technique.

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