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Rabies..What Should Travellers Know about Rabies?

Mar 5, 2014 No Comments

Rabies is a viral infection of the human brain and nervous system that is transmitted via a bite of infected canine animals.

More information about Rabies is available by visiting: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/diseases/rabies

Many Carnivores (Meat eating Animals) can transmit Rabies to humans.Dogs and Bats are at the top of  the list as well as Monkeys.Although travellers should avoid all animal bites, particular attention should be paid to Bats and Monkeys.

Bats have tiny teeth and their bites can be painless and less noticeable. A bat bite is ALWAYS  an indication for Postexposure prophylaxis (i.e. taking Rabies shots after an animal bite).

In many tourist attractions in Asia like temples Monkeys can get too close to humans especially when they spot food.A monkey will not hesitate to grab food from human hands and can be aggressive. On the other hand, travellers most times

try to feed Monkeys because they are lovely creatures which can also result in close encounters and possible monkey bite.

To avoid Rabies Travellers should:

1. ALWAYS avoid animal bites by avoiding close encounter with all animals like feeding them or trying take pictures with animals. Animals have keen senses of sight and smell and will try to take food from travellers possession even if it is hidden in pockets or backpacks.

2. ALWAYSin case of an animal bite, wash the bite wound with copious amount of soap and water and seek IMMEDIATE HEALTH ADVICE REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS.

3. Seek a PRE-TRAVEL CONSULT to see if pre-exposure prophylaxis is needed based  on the itinerary.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis  DOES NOT mean a traveller should not follow steps 1 & 2 above but it makes Post-exposure prophylaxis simpler.

We wish all travellers safe and enjoyable trips.