Rabies is a viral infection of the nervous system that can infect almost all mammals, including humans. Foxes, dogs, raccoons, bats and skunks can all act as reservoirs for rabies. Worldwide, the principal hosts for rabies are the domestic dog, and bats, particularly insect eating bats.

Rabies is one of the oldest recognised diseases in man and is a notifiable disease in Ireland.

There has not been a case of rabies in animals in Ireland since 1902.   

                Important Clinical Notice

Chapter 19 (Rabies) of the Immunisation Guidelines for Ireland has been updated

NOTE – Key Changes include:

  • dosage of rabies vaccine >2.5 IU
  • change in post-exposure immunisation scheduling

The “Rabies Prevention and Control Guidance (2015)” document will be updated shortly.

Specialist advice from Cherry Orchard Hospital (076-6955000) or HPSC should be sought for risk assessment and when post-exposure immunisation +/- immunoglobulin may be indicated.

Last updated: 24 July 2019