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What is Rabies?
Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that infects the nervous system. The illness is fatal. Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other warm-blooded animals. The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months; however it can vary from less than one week to more than one year. The time is dependent on the distance the virus must travel to reach the symptoms may include fever and tingling at the site of exposure. This is then followed by either violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, and fear of water or an inability to move parts of the body and confusion followed by loss of consciousness. In both cases once symptoms appear it nearly always results in death.
Who develops Rabies?
Backpackers, adventure travellers and travellers to parts of the USA, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam who are at risk of bites from rabid animals or the inhalation of bat droppings.
How is Rabies contracted?
Rabies is transmitted through bites or licks from infected animals to open wounds or mucous membranes. It can also be acquired by inhaling infected bat aerosols.
Who should be vaccinated?
Travellers over two years of age at high risk of exposure when travelling to areas of Rabies infection.
What is the vaccine?
The vaccine is a series of 3 injections given on days 0, 7 and 28. Travel can occur immediately after the third injection.
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