Rabies Vaccine Exeter

Rabies, a viral disease usually transmitted through animal bites or scratches, poses a significant threat to humans. The rabies vaccine offers essential protection for travellers at risk of exposure. This article outlines how to stay safe during travel and the importance of rabies vaccination for those at risk.

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Understanding Rabies and Its Dangers

travel clinic exeter rabies vaccine

The Severity of Rabies Infections

Rabies attacks the central nervous system, causing progressive damage to the brain and spinal cord. Once symptoms are present, the disease is almost always fatal. Although rabies cases are rare among travellers, it is crucial to be aware of the risks and take appropriate precautions.

Rabies: A Global Health Issue

Due to underreporting, it is challenging to provide accurate statistics on human rabies cases worldwide. However, the disease is estimated to cause 59,000 human deaths annually. Between 1902 and 2005, there were 25 reported human deaths in the UK from imported rabies.

Preventing Rabies Exposure during Travel

Avoiding Contact with Animals

Travellers should avoid contact with both wild and domestic animals in areas where rabies is prevalent. This includes not approaching animals, not attempting to pick up unusually tame or unwell animals, and not attracting stray animals by offering food or being careless with litter.

Activities That Attract Dogs

Certain activities, such as running or cycling, may attract dogs. Travellers should exercise caution when engaging in these activities in rabies-affected areas.

First Aid and Treatment after Rabies Exposure

Urgent Treatment and Wound Care

In case of potential rabies exposure, urgent action is required. Treatment should begin as soon as possible after exposure. The wound must be washed thoroughly with detergent or soap and running water for several minutes, followed by the application of a disinfectant such as an iodine solution or 40-70% alcohol. A simple dressing should then be applied to the wound.

Seeking Medical Advice

It is essential to seek immediate medical advice regarding the need for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), possible antibiotics to prevent wound infection, and potential tetanus vaccination. Suturing of the wound should be postponed until PEP has started.

The Importance of the Rabies Vaccine

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Who Should Receive the Rabies Vaccine

The pre-exposure rabies vaccine should be offered to individuals at continuous or frequent risk of exposure. This includes laboratory workers handling the rabies virus, bat handlers, those handling imported animals, animal workers travelling to rabies risk areas, and health workers in rabies risk areas who may have direct contact with infected patients.

Rabies Vaccination for Travellers

International travellers to rabies-affected areas are considered to be at infrequent risk. However, pre-exposure vaccines are recommended for those whose activities put them at increased risk, such as those visiting areas with limited access to PEP and medical care, planning higher-risk activities, or staying for an extended period. In countries where rabies is only reported in wild animals or bats, pre-exposure vaccines are recommended for a smaller group of travellers.

The rabies vaccine in our Luxtons branch in Exeter is a crucial preventive measure for travellers at risk of rabies exposure. By understanding the dangers and taking appropriate precautions, travellers can ensure their safety and wellbeing during their journeys.

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This blog post was written on behalf of Luxtons Pharmacy by Pharmacy Mentor.