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Can I get rabies from a scratch?

Hi guys,

So 2 weeks ago I was scratched by a wild cat when I was in Turkey. The cat did not appear rabid as it was acting normally and I 'provoked' the scratch as I tried to stroke it when lying down..Obviously, I freaked out about the prospect of getting rabies, ( It's endemic in Turkey.) I was taking to a local Doctor by my dad and he said that there was no rabies in the region ( Kalkan) however this did not totally ease my mind due to the language barrier etc. About 7 days later when I was leaving to the airport, we saw the cat again and to be honest it looked exactly the same and was just strolling down the area it wasnt agressive or anything.

My wound has healed up perfectly and the other day I went to the doctor just to double checked and I was basically laughed at with him saying that I wouldnt get it from a scractch and that If I did have it I would be 'too far gone' for help. WORRYING. Also, I have a blocked nose now but no other symptoms.

Can you guys ease my mind?
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replied September 23rd, 2012
Especially eHealthy

You are worrying yourself over nothing.

While it is true that it is possible to get rabies from a scratch from an infected animal (it is usually obtained from the saliva of the animal, but cats lick their paws), the time that has passed proves that your do not have the disease.

The usual recommendations are to quarintine the animal for observation for 10 days (in animals where the possibility of the disease is low; cats, dogs, ferrets). In that time, if the animal does not develop symptoms of the disease, it is given back to its owner. However, if the animal is suspected of having the disease, the authorities would euthanize (kill) the animal and look at its brain for signs of the virus by using the direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) test.

So, if you saw the cat walking around, acting normally (and you are sure it was the same cat) a week later, then it did not have the virus.

Again, you are worrying yourself over nothing.

Good luck.
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