Have you been bitten by a mammal overseas?
Our Perth Travel Doctors are recommended by the Western Australian Health Department for the post treatment of Rabies.
Rabies vaccines and Immunoglobin are available in East Perth Medical Centre.
Post- exposure immunisations are paid for by the government.
If a post- exposure vaccination course have been started overseas, it can be completed in our clinic where we have stock from the Public Health Unit.
What is rabies?
Rabies is an extremely serious viral infection from mammals transmitted to humans. It is nearly almost fatal once symptoms begin and causes > 50 000 deaths each year. It can be transmitted to humans from infected saliva as a result of animal bite or scratch.Symptoms begins with fever and pain, plus a burning or prickling sensation near the wound.
Who is at risk?
Rabies is present in more than 150 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and America but some have higher risk than others. The most common regions for rabies related deaths are Asia and Africa. Children are at higher risk than adults because they are likely to want to play with animals, and these animals may be infected with the disease. Developing countries have a large population of stray dogs and avoiding them is often difficult. In Australia, there are rare cases of rabies- like virus from bats. Rabies is now present in areas that have previously been rabies free. Bali is one example where rabies has only been present since 2008.
How to prevent rabies?
Prevention is always the best.
Travellers should avoid direct contact such as touching, feeding, playing with dogs and other mammals in countries where rabies is endemic.
Australians who are travelling to countries where rabies is present should consult their General Practitioners or travel medicine specialist 6-8 weeks prior travelling. They will help travellers assess the risk of exposure, access to healthcare overseas and potential availability of post exposure treatments. Vaccination against rabies before travel simplifies management of potential exposure to the virus, particularly in regions where there is limited access to medical facilities.
What to do when bitten?
The wound should be cleaned thorougly with soap and water for at least 15 minutes immediately. Cleansing the wound help reduce risk of potential infection. Once cleansed, use antiseptic with antivirus action such as povidone-iodine or iodine tincture should be applied. If not available, an aqueous iodine solution or alcohol should be used after washing. This procedure should be followed regardless of vaccination.
The person must be immunised as soon as possible with a course of rabies vaccine and when prescribed, rabies immunoglobin. Vaccinated people who may have been bitten by a rabid animal still need post- exposure preventative treatment, although it is less complicated.
For any queries call us at 9221 4242 or book online for an appointment.