Rabies Vaccine Edinburgh
This article is an extension of our Rabies Vaccination page here. We summarise the main aspect of rabies and the vaccine. If you need more information, be sure to talk to us on Live Chat.
The Dangers of Rabies
Rabies is a fatal viral disease transmitted to humans primarily through bites or scratches from infected animals, usually dogs. The virus damages the central nervous system, leading to severe consequences for the brain and spinal cord. Human rabies cases often go unreported, but the disease is estimated to cause 59,000 deaths worldwide annually. In the UK, only 25 human deaths from imported rabies occurred between 1902 and 2005.
Rabies Prevention for Travellers
While rabies cases are rare in travellers, animal bites and scratches remain common. It is crucial for travellers to be aware of the risks and take appropriate precautions in areas where rabies is present. Rabies is preventable with timely post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), but PEP can be costly and difficult to obtain in some regions.
Avoiding Animal Contact
Travellers should avoid contact with wild or domestic animals by not approaching or attempting to pick up animals, especially if they appear unusually tame or unwell. They should also refrain from attracting stray animals with food or litter. Activities like running and cycling can attract dogs, so travellers should be cautious.
First Aid for Rabies Exposure
If exposed to rabies, individuals should:
- 1. Wash the wound with detergent or soap and running water for several minutes.
- 2. Apply a disinfectant, such as iodine solution or 40-70% alcohol, to the wound.
- 3. Apply a simple dressing to the wound.
- 4. Seek immediate medical advice about the need for PEP and possible antibiotics to prevent infection.
A tetanus vaccine may be necessary if the traveller’s immunisation is not up-to-date. Wound suturing should be postponed until PEP has started.
Assessing yourRabies Exposure Risk
Travellers can use this questionnaire to determine their risk level:
- 1. Are you travelling to an area where rabies is present?
- 2. Will you be in close contact with animals during your trip?
- 3. Are you participating in activities that may attract dogs, such as running or cycling?
- 4. Will you be staying in the area for over a month?
- 5. Is access to PEP and medical care limited in the area you are visiting?
Answering “yes” to any of these questions indicates an increased risk of rabies exposure and the need to consider rabies vaccination.
Who Should Receive the Rabies Vaccine?
The pre-exposure rabies vaccine should be offered to those at continuous or frequent risk of exposure, including:
- – Laboratory workers handling rabies virus
- – Bat handlers
- – Those who handle imported animals regularly
- – Animal workers travelling frequently to rabies risk areas
- – Health workers in rabies risk areas with direct contact with infected patients
International travellers to rabies-affected areas are usually considered to be at ‘infrequent risk’. However, pre-exposure vaccines are recommended for those at increased risk, such as:
- – Those visiting areas with limited access to PEP and medical care
- – Those engaging in higher-risk activities, like cycling and running
- – Long-stay travellers (over one month)
In countries where rabies is only reported in wild animals or bats, pre-exposure vaccines are recommended for a smaller group of travellers.
Rabies Vaccine Edinburgh – ETC located inside Newington Pharmacy
We’ve vaccinated 1000’s of travellers and front-line workers, and we’d love to protect you. Take a look at where we are below and then book your appointment online with us. We have over 400 5-str reviews online!