Rabies is an extremely dangerous viral infection that mainly affects the brain and the nervous system.
Africa and Asia are exposed to the biggest threat of rabies and also have the highest death rate per year. Rabies is mainly transmitted through dog bites; however, they can also be present in any mammal. Unfortunately, there isn't an effective cure for the infection once it has occurred; therefore it is important that you have a vaccination against it, especially if you are travelling to areas that are at high risk.
The most effective way to prevent the infection is to be vaccinated against it before it happens. This will require 3 doses of the vaccine, spaced out evenly, every 7 days and must be completed at least 3 weeks before your departure for it to be in full effect.
If you suspect an infection from rabies, you must seek medical advice immediately, regardless of whether you have had a vaccine or not. In case an animal bites or licks you, we advise you to clean your skin for at least 5 minutes with soap & water and seek medical advice straight after.
If you have not been vaccinated against Rabies, a more intense treatment will have to be undertaken. Over a 30-day period, you must be vaccinated 5 times and have an injection of immunoglobulin as an extra.
As some treatments are not available in high-risk countries, this may mean that you need to fly to a country with facilities that provides you with the right and effective treatments as rabies is not something to be messed about with.