Rabies vaccine

Rabies is found in everywhere on Earth, with the exception of 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 Australia, including most of Europe, Japan, Canada, and the United States. 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 is a deadly disease caused by a virus that is spread in the saliva of infected animals. All mammals can get rabies. People usually get rabies from licks, bites, or scratches from infected dogs and other animals such as bats, foxes, raccoons, monkeys and mongooses.

Rabies affects the central nervous system, ultimately causing brain disease and death. Once symptoms of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, so prevention is especially important.

  • Consider medical evacuation insurance
  • Adequate vaccination for exposure to rabies is not available in all parts of the world, so consider buying supplemental health insurance.
  • Medical evacuation insurance may cover the cost to transfer you to the nearest destination where complete care can be obtained. Some policies may cover your eventual return to your home country

Rabies vaccine is given as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) before travelling. This is three vaccinations at day 0, 7 and 21-28. If exposed to rabies through a bite, it is important you seek immediate medical attention as you will need further vaccinations given. Please ask your doctor for more detailed information.

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