- Low risk
- Moderate risk
- High risk
Rabies is a viral disease that is spread mainly through the saliva of infected mammals including dogs, cats, monkeys, foxes and bats. People become infected if they are bitten or scratched by an infected animal.
Where is rabies found?
Rabies is found throughout the world particularly in Asia, Africa and South and Latin America, especially India, Thailand or Brazil where street dogs and bats are common.
The infection causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord which can result in headaches, convulsions, encephalitis, meningitis and brain damage which can be fatal.
There is no specific treatment for rabies and can be fatal within a few days. However urgent medical attention is crucial within 24 hours if bitten or scratched by an animal whilst visiting an area in which rabies is endemic, even if pre-travel vaccination has been received. This is not only due to the severity of the rabies disease, but also because being bitten by an animal could expose you to other infections.
The vaccination is given as a course of three injections over 21 to 28 days and ideally administered at least 14 days before the actual date of travel.
A booster dose is needed to maintain protection and is given after 10 years.