Rabies

Bali is considered as a rabies endemic area since 2010. 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, 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.

Prevention

Talk to your doctor about your travel plans. If your activities will bring you into contact with animals such as dogs, cats, bats, or other carnivores, you should consider pre-exposure rabies vaccination, which is a 3-shot series (days 0, 7, and 21 or 28) given before travel. Some clinics in Bali also provide the vaccine just in case you cannot compete the third dose. Please keep in mind that even if you receive pre-exposure vaccination, you should still get immediate medical treatment if you are bitten or scratched by an animal. The important preventive measures are avoiding animal bites. Avoid touching all animals, including wild animals and pets. Those rabid animals may not be vaccinated against rabies. Supervise children closely, especially around dogs, cats, and wildlife such as monkeys and bats. Dogs and cats may be infected with rabies but not show signs until several days or months after you first encounter them. Act quickly if an animal bites or scratches you: Wash the wound well with soap and water. See a health care provider right away, even if you don’t feel sick or your wound does not look serious. To prevent rabies, you may need to start a series of vaccinations immediately.

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