What it is:
Rabies is a serious infection caused by a virus in the saliva of an infected animal. The virus attacks nerves and muscles throughout the body. There is no cure for rabies and it is usually fatal.
How you get it:
The rabies virus exists in most countries of the world. Most infections are caused by dog bites. However, many other animals including cats, monkeys, tigers, rabbits, rats, mongoose and squirrels are also known to carry rabies.
How to protect yourself:
Even though it is a serious disease, rabies is not a common travel-acquired infection. As a rule of thumb, travelers should avoid any animals that could potentially pass on rabies. However, in some cases we may recommend the 3-dose pre - exposure vaccine series for high risk travelers.
Who should get Rabies vaccine:
Travellers living in, or travelling for more than 1 month, to high risk areas (e.g. jungle habitat) where there is no access to reliable, prompt safe medical care. Adults travelling for less than 1 month to high risk areas but who may be exposed to rabies because of their activities, or those who would have limited access to post-exposure medical care. Travellers who are working abroad with, or in close contact with, animals (e.g. veterinarians, zoologists).
What to expect after vaccination:
Adverse reactions to Rabies immunization are usually mild and confined to the first few days after immunization. The most common reactions are mild, transient soreness, and redness at the injection site. Severe reactions (such as lips swelling, tongue swelling, diffculty breathing, etc) following vaccination are very rare.