What you need to know about Rabies

Rabies is a fatal viral disease of the nervous system which can affect all mammals including humans.

The disease is usually spread by saliva from the bite, scratch or lick onto broken skin of an infected animal that is carrying the virus. Clinical signs include paralysis and aggression leading to a death.

All mammals are susceptible to the virus including skunks, jackals, mongooses, foxes and raccoons, dogs, cats, monkeys and bats. Travellers are advised to avoid contact with animals in infected areas.

It is common throughout the world and you should consider it if you are travelling to countries such as Brazil, India or Thailand where street dogs and bats are common. Rabies is pretty much untreatable and once the clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal.

High-risk areas

Rabies is found in animals almost everywhere, but most human cases occur in:

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Latin America
  • South America

Signs and symptoms

Rabies causes:

  • Spasms
  • Extreme thirst
  • Fear of water (hydrophobia)
  • Madness
  • Paralysis

The vaccine

Vaccination is recommended for all travellers who will be living or travelling in endemic areas and who maybe exposed to Rabies because of their travel activities i.e. trekking, working or living in rural areas.

A course of three doses of the Rabies vaccine (Rabipur) is required for protection. The second dose is given seven days after the first. The third dose is given 21 or 28 days after the first.

Vaccination should be completed before your departure to allow your body to develop full immunity. Booster doses are usually only recommended for people at high risk of Rabies (such as vets).

Post-exposure treatment

It is imperative to seek medical attention as soon possible if a bite or scratch is sustained in any Rabies endemic area even if pre-travel vaccination has been given.

Saliva should be thoroughly washed off with soap and water and the wound irrigated with iodine solution or alcohol. Suturing of the wound should be avoided and Tetanus vaccination should be considered.

A thorough risk assessment should be carried out by the attending doctor where appropriate treatment should be given.


VaccinationDosesSchedule and ValidityPrice*
Rabies (Rabipur)3Doses at 1, 7 & 28 days£70.00
*Price per dose. Please see the dosage to calculate the overall cost.
*Prices are subject to change please contact us for the latest pricing.