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Can RABIES VIRUS have long incubation period, affect later?

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Kindly note that this question is strictly for Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian only.

Dear Dr. Deepu,

Greetings and I hope this message reaches you in good health.

I have written previously about my rabies scares. Whilst I have tried to constantly re-assure myself that there is nothing to worry about, there is still one concern that constantly troubles me in my day to day life. I am worrying constantly about the prospect of a long incubation period (several years) and the rabies virus suddenly emerging in my body sometime in the future and taking my life.

It breaks my heart to know I am struggling with such a bizarre and far fetched scenario that came from absolutely nowhere and I feel alone in my battle. The medical system is very poor and unreliable in my area and I feel my problem stems from my ignorance and lack of knowledge in medicine. Hence I kindly ask the following questions specifically:

How often do long multi-year incubation periods occur with the rabies virus? And are there any reassuring medical facts or experience you can share with me? I am kindly requesting you to please be as expressive, thorough and patient with me as possible. I believe that knowledge can be the solution to get me over this hump that I am stuck in. To re-iterate, my issue is fearing a long and undetected incubation period with this deadly virus.

As for my case history, I have come into contact with many feral cats (all seemingly healthy) whilst growing up, and have been playfully scratched and bitten before. My last noteworthy contact was many years ago but again, it is this dreadful incubation period that keeps me going in circles.

Thank you very much for your time, effort, and consideration. I am very grateful for this service and looking forward to your response.

P.S. Since there are two infectious disease specialists, I will send out this question twice to get two opinions for further re-assurance. Just mentioning this in case the question comes up twice.

Category: Infectious Disease Specialist

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 23 Doctors Online

Thank you for your query at
I can understand your fears and concerns.
As I assured you in the past, I will like to repeat, that rabies has an incubation period of 1 month to 1 year ( 1 year is very rare ). Most cases manifest symptoms within a month of exposure.
There is no such long incubation period. for rabies.
So please do not worry.
With all my professional opinion, I can assure you, there is nothing to be worried about.

Patient replied :

Dr. Deepu,
Thank you for response. Does that mean that the sources stating rabies can have multi-year incubations are false? There are many websites that show news of cases with multi-year incubations.
Thanks again.

There are lots of such misleading articles.
That's where internet can actually create panic among normal public.
Please do not worry.
I assure you, there is no chance of Rabies.

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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