Rabies Vaccine For Travellers
Rabies vaccine is a dilemma to many Australian travellers who come to Bali. Travellers seek advice from many sources, (eg doctors, Google, travel agents, fellow travellers etc) and often receive conflicting information about rabies. Some sources say have rabies vaccine, some say do not have rabies vaccine
Who is at risk?
Rabies is found around the world, except Antarctica. Travelers who may come into contact with wild or domestic animals are at risk for rabies. This includes travelers spending a lot of time outdoors (such as campers and cavers), travelers with occupational risks (such as veterinarians and wildlife professionals), and long-term travelers and expatriates. Children are also at higher risk because they often play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to be bitten on the head and neck.
In many countries the risk of rabies is similar to the United States, including most of Europe, Japan, Canada, Bali and Australia. However, in many other parts of the world, rabies in dogs is still a problem, and access to preventive treatment may be hard. These areas include much of Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. If traveling to a country where there is an increased risk of rabies, especially in dogs, rabies vaccination may be recommended before your trip.
Rabies Treatment is not easy to access
If a traveller is bitten or licked by an animal and has NOT had rabies vaccine in the past, then in order to treat them they requires TWO things; rabies vaccine and ‘RIG’ (Rabies Immune Globulin)- ideally within 24 hours.
The Rabies vaccine takes two weeks to be effective so RIG is like a quick infusion of instant antibodies. RIG keeps you safe while the vaccine helps your immune system to makes its own antibodies. RIG is a blood product ( scary thought in Africa ) and costs big dollars, so is not readily available in Malawi, or many other parts of the world where resources are poor. (RIG is sometimes in short supply even in Australia.)
If complete rabies treatment is not given correctly and on time, i.e. immediately after a bite, and a traveller were to wait until rabies symptoms develop – it would be too late…. established rabies is untreatable and universally fatal. We have no drugs that work against rabies. The only thing that stops the rabies virus is a well trained immune system.
What can bali travelers do to prevent rabies?
Get a rabies vaccine, if recommended:
- Talk to your doctor about your travel plans. If your activities will bring you into contact with animals such as dogs, cats, bats, or other carnivores, you should consider pre-exposure rabies vaccination, which is a 3-shot series (days 0, 7, and 21 or 28) given before travel.
- Find a Local Clinic at your Travel destination who is ready with Rabies Vaccine
Rabie Vaccine and Imunoglobuli is always ready at Prime Plus Medical Clinic
Best Medical Clinic in Canggu, Bali.
Contact us to learn more!