Prevent Rabies

on 21 February 2021


What is rabies?
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus which only affects mammals. You can get rabies if you are bitten or scratched by an animal with rabies.

Who is at risk?
Rabid dogs are a problem in many countries around the world, including most of Africa, Asia, and parts of Central and South America. Although any mammal can transmit rabies, Across the world, the animal responsible for most rabies transmissions to humans is the domestic dog.
Activities that may increase a traveler’s chances of rabies infection include:
•Camping or exploring caves (spelunkers)
•Working with animals (veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers handling animal specimens)
•Long-term travelers and expatriates

Children are more likely to get infected because they often play with animals and may not report bites.

Rabies in dogs is rare in the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, and most European countries.

What can travelers do to prevent rabies?
Travelers can protect themselves from rabies by taking the following steps:
Avoid animals when traveling
• Don’t touch dogs, puppies, or other animals. This goes for strays as well as pets. Not all countries require pets to be vaccinated against rabies. Even animals that appear healthy can spread rabies.
• Supervise children closely, especially around dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, and wildlife.
• If you travel with your pet, watch it closely. Do not allow it around other local pets or wild animals.
• Pre-travel rabies vaccine
• For some travelers, it may make sense to get the rabies vaccine before your trip. Check if rabies vaccine is recommended for your destination.
• The rabies vaccine is three doses. The second dose is given seven days after the first dose. The third shot is given 21 to 28 days after the first dose. Even if you are vaccinated against rabies, if you are bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling, you need to seek medical care immediately and get two booster doses of the vaccine.

Periodic booster injections are recommended as an extra precaution only for people whose occupation puts them at frequent risk of exposure to animals.


Source: who.int, cdc.gov, travelvax.com.au

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