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Human-to-Human Rabies Transmission
Rabies transmission between humans is also extremely rare. The only well-documented cases of rabies caused by human-to-human transmission occurred among eight recipients of transplanted corneas, and recently among three recipients of solid organs. Guidelines for acceptance of suitable cornea and organ donations, as well as the rarity of human rabies in the United States, have reduced the risk of rabies transmission occurring through transplanted organs.
In addition to rabies transmission from cornea and organ transplants, bite and non-bite exposures inflicted by infected humans could theoretically transmit rabies, but no such cases have been documented.
Rabies transmission cannot occur through casual contact, such as touching a person with rabies or contact with non-infectious fluid or tissue (e.g., urine, blood, or feces). In addition, contact with someone who is receiving the rabies vaccination does not constitute rabies exposure and does not require post-exposure prophylaxis.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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