Rabies infection is caused by a group of viruses that commonly infect dogs, monkeys and bats. Transmission to humans usually occurs when an individual is bitten or scratched by an infected animal. Infection does not occur through intact skin, but saliva or body fluids entering via a bite, cut, through the mouth, eyes or other membranes must be managed as a significant risk of infection. The onset of symptoms is slow, usually over a period of 3-6 months, but once established this infection is fatal and there is no effective treatment.
Human rabies infection is most common in individuals who have never received vaccination. Preventive vaccination against rabies is recommended for all regular travellers and anyone travelling to Africa or Asia, particularly if exposure to animals is possible. This includes domestic and feral cats, dogs and more exotic animals such as monkeys and bats.
Rabies vaccine consists of inactive virus particles grown in either chick embryo cells or human cells. The vaccine does not contain live rabies virus and cannot cause the disease against which it offers protection. Rabies vaccination is given as a course of three intramuscular injections on days 1, 7 and day 28. An accelerated course involving doses on days 1, 7 and 21 can be used where there is insufficient time to undertake the usual course. A single reinforcing dose is usually given 1 year after the primary course, with booster doses every 3-5 years for those at regular or continued risk.
Rabies vaccine is also used for preventive treatment in individuals who may have been exposed to rabies following a bite or scratch from a potentially infected animal. This is an emergency situation, and any traveller who is bitten whilst abroad should seek urgent expert medical advice and, if necessary, post-exposure vaccination and treatment.
Newcastle Premier Health strive to make sure that travellers are safe when journeying through countries that could potentially affect their health, that is why we offer a range of preventive vaccinations including the Rabies vaccination.
Arranging an appointment couldn’t be easier, simply contact our customer service team on 0191 605 3140
The decision to vaccinate results from an individual risk assessment based on the duration of stay, the likelihood of engagement in at-risk activities, the age of the traveller, the risk of rabies and access to appropriate medical care in the country of destination.
If you have any questions regarding Rabies or would like to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our clinic: