I have a question about my Biology Stack Exchange post: How likely is a rabies virus from dog saliva will enter a human body through this kind of finger skin?

This question is closed with following reason:

Personal medical questions and health advice are off-topic on Biology. We cannot safely answer questions for your specific situation and you should always consult a doctor for medical advice.

Now I don't understand where am I asking for a health advice here?

And how would a doctor be able to tell whether a virus can enter through such a peeled skin? I mean some doctors who have studied higher will definitely answer, but not every random doctor would do this.

At least in India, most doctors don't know about this at all. So definitely I can't go to them to explain the biology behind this. Nor would they explain me. They will more likely offer a medical advice / help. Honestly, that's why I asked this question here.

Even if a doctor would answer my question with scientific facts, it shouldn't be considered a medical advice or health advice. It's more about knowing the process rather than effects or prevention.

All doctor would do will try to prevent or protect you from rabies. That's what my question is not about at all.

I just want to know how likely the virus will enter though indirect touch of a licked object through this kind of finger.

So why my question is closed for these reasons? And if I'm missing something, how can I correct it?


2 Answers 2


I was not involved in the closing of this question. I think it's a well-written and supported question (thanks for that). However, I certainly could see how someone would consider closing this question. Your emphasis in this meta post suggests you're more interested in the basic biology vs receiving medical advice. However, the original post reads as if situationally such scientific/biology info would be used by you when considering how to deal with an actual medical situation regarding your finger.

Two recommendations:

  1. Edit the post to eliminate more of the personal details. For example, eliminate the specifics about a specific wound, and instead broaden the context.

    • e.g., maybe you reframe the entire post to be about what depth a skin lesion must be to pose a risk for rabies transfer
      • A post with this angle would be further strengthened by more explicit mention of what you do/don't know about how rabies is spread.
  2. Vote to reopen (which you've already done, but I think this meta post and a clear attempt by you to further modify the post will strengthen this vote).

Good luck, and thanks for your participation here!

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I'll try to edit it. $\endgroup$
    – vivek
    Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ Hi. I tried to post a new question after editing it but it says it looks like spam. Don't know why. Can't post it. Any solution? $\endgroup$
    – vivek
    Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 8:01
  • $\begingroup$ I don't see the post on your profile, so I'm not sure what triggered the spam block. Can you provide more context? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ How spam blocking works on stack exchange: stackoverflow.blog/2020/06/25/… $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ I mean the earlier closed question we were discussing about. It is now showing deleted. So I tried to post a new question which is an edited version of my old question. And when I try to post it, it just doesn't get posted showing error that it looks like spam. $\endgroup$
    – vivek
    Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ That blog looks very technical to understand. $\endgroup$
    – vivek
    Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ Got it. Well, since the site automatically deleted your post (not the mods by the way), it caused your question to get registered as not good for the site. If you tried copying most of that post (or I would assume even the question title) the site's spam-filter might get triggered since that question/text was deemed not appropriate for the site. In other words, it might think you're "spamming" the site by trying to add the same "bad" question a second time. I would assume you could get around this by modifying the question title and avoiding copying large chunks of the previous posts text. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ I even changed the title. Moreover, around 50% of body text is either changed or rephrased but still it's not posting. $\endgroup$
    – vivek
    Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 5:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @vivek See these posts on the main Meta site: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/311147/… meta.stackexchange.com/questions/289511/… The mechanics of these filters are not public to make them harder to circumvent, but it's quite unusual to come across them by accident. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause that makes sense. Looks like I'll need to spend some more time in shortening the question. I kept it long to best explain and make it different from my original question to fix problems. $\endgroup$
    – vivek
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ Hi. I have edited and just posted. I tried to incorporate your suggestions. $\endgroup$
    – vivek
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 7:47

I used my moderator close vote to close this question. Some reasoning:

Your question describes such a very specific circumstance that it seems unlikely to be specifically researched (that is, you will not find a study on rabies transmission in humans who have removed the upper layer of their fingers), plus you've already seen there is another Q&A here that pretty clearly addresses the more general case, which is a perfectly reasonable biology question by itself but is already answered ("what are the risks of rabies transmission through non-bite exposures").

This makes it sound like medical advice to me, rather than interest in biology: even as you insist that you are not asking for medical advice in this meta post, it sounds like you're planning to make health decisions based on the answers you get.

When you write in your meta post (emphasis mine):

So definitely I can't go to them to explain the biology behind this. Nor would they explain me. They will more likely offer a medical advice / help.

It sounds to me like you don't want to ask a physician your question because you fear they will give you advice you don't want, like advice to avoid the finger peeling. I don't want people to be using this site to dodge asking their physicians about things like this. It could also be interpreted as an XY problem, where your problem is really "are there risks to peeling the skin off of fingers" but you are asking specifically about rabies, and thinking that if the risk of rabies is low then overall risk is low; if people answer your question about rabies only, you might mistakenly think there are no other concerns to think about.

Of course, since much of this gets at assumed intentions, I could be very wrong about things, I'm just reading from what I have access to. If you modify your question as @theforestecologist suggests, your question could be reopened.

  • $\begingroup$ It sounds to me like you don't want to ask a physician your question because you fear they will give you advice you don't want You are definitely wrong. I don't want to visit physician because they don't discuss such stuff. They aren't as talented as doctors in developed countries. Even if I could find a physician who would explain it to me, why would I take his "advice"? I need the scientific explanation - NOT the medicine or advice. That is what I've explained in my question. That is why my question is closed for a wrong reason. $\endgroup$
    – vivek
    Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ Most people and local doctors here believe that rabies can spread only through a dog bite and that too when the dog is showing symptom. If you tell someone that "don't go near that abandoned dog it might be rabid" they will say you are overthinking, rabid dogs are not like that - And they will tell you obvious symptoms of rabies. In short, they aren't interested into details. They believe and know what's obvious. $\endgroup$
    – vivek
    Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ So only way for me to get scientific answer was StackExchange. $\endgroup$
    – vivek
    Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 18:33
  • $\begingroup$ @vivek Why are you interested in this specific case of fingers where someone has removed the top layer of their skin? $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ I'd add that our policy against medical advice does not only apply to people who trust the physicians in their country. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ Because no one has discussed about it (or at least I couldn't find it). $\endgroup$
    – vivek
    Commented Mar 2, 2022 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ I'll edit it anyway the way suggested in the other answer. $\endgroup$
    – vivek
    Commented Mar 2, 2022 at 11:49

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