Updated rabies safety information for field work


Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) updated rabies information for University personnel who conduct field work in areas where rabies is endemic.

The updated Rabies Information includes the latest recommendations from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices:

  • All University personnel working with the bats are required to be vaccinated prophylactically with the rabies vaccine before they can work with bats.
  • Rabies pre-exposure vaccination is recommended for personnel who may have contact with warm-blooded mammals in the wild or personnel conducting field work in remote locations with populations of animals where rabies is endemic (including in Washington state).

In Washington, the risk is low for being bitten by a rabid animal (other than a bat); however, precautions must be taken by field workers who handle or work in areas with wild animals.

Before embarking into the field:

  1. Review the updated Rabies Information.
  2. Refer to the CDC Rabies Pre-exposure Vaccination page to determine your risk category and recommendations for receiving rabies pre-exposure vaccine doses.
  3. Discuss the rabies vaccine with your healthcare provider or the UW Employee Health Center. The UW Employee Health Center can give the vaccine (a two-shot series). Call 206-685-1026, ext.0, for more information or to schedule.

Visit the Field Operations Safety webpage for more safety guidance and resources for conducting field work.

Review the Bats and Rabies Focus Sheet for general information about reduce your risk of exposure to rabies at a University location.