What you need to know about rabies

Press release date: Tuesday 24th September

September 28th saw individuals from all over the world unite to shed a light on the dangers of rabies for World Rabies Day.

Rabies is one of the deadliest infections known to humans. But, it’s also 100% preventable.

So, in order to help you better understand this virus, we’re here to tell you what you need to know about the rabies infection.

What is rabies?
Rabies is an infectious viral disease spread to humans by the bite or scratch of an infected animal. Once it’s been contracted, it’s common for the virus to spread to the central nervous system.

The infection is most commonly found in Asia, Africa and Central and South America.

The good news? Vaccination before or after exposure is effective. So, if you’re considering travelling to any of the above places, be sure to book an appointment with us in your local clinic.

What animals are at risk?
Unfortunately, not all affected animals demonstrate clear and visible signs of the illness, so it can be difficult to know what animals to avoid.

With that said, it’s important to always avoid contact with warm blooded animals – such as cats, dogs or even monkeys.

What are the symptoms?
Following the bite of an infected animal, symptoms of the virus can take weeks, months or years to appear.

The length of time before symptoms appear can vary based on where on the body you’ve been bitten and the amount of virus injected. Wild animals tend to be the highest risk.

Symptoms include irritability or aggressiveness, excessive movements or agitation, confusion or hallucinations.

How does the vaccine work?
The vaccine works by teaching your immune system how to produce the protective antibodies against this disease.

After any possible exposure you’ll need to boost those antibodies to a higher level to be certain that you are protected. The rabies vaccine course should be commenced 4-6 weeks pre travel.

For more travel health tips and advice call your local TMB clinic and book in to speak with one of our qualified professionals.

To book an appointment for vaccinations and see a list of our base and associate clinics, please contact Tropical Medical Bureau on 00-353-1-2715-200 or visit www.tmb.ie.