Human-to-human rabies transmission

Patient

Q: My spouse and I live in South America and she was recently bitten by a stray dog, which drew blood. We immediately got the first rabies shot. The next day, we kissed. I know that rabies is passed through saliva, but I don't know if my spouse would be contagious since she had no symptoms, though she only had one shot of the series. Would I be at risk for rabies and should I get post-exposure shots?

Doctor

A:   I understand your concern about rabies transmission form a kiss, but let me reassure you that even if your wife has the virus, this type of transmission through mucous membranes (eyes, nose, and mouth) corneal and even through organ transplantations are very unlikely and almost not documented. I wish your wife a prompt recovery.

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