Rabies is a disease caused by the rabies virus.
How it is caught?
Through the bite or scratch of an infected mammal (normally a dog, cat, bat or monkey), or if an infected animal licks broken skin.
What does it do?
Rabies virus causes fever, headache, tiredness and muscle pain, developing into abnormal sensations at the bite site. Furious rabies causes spasms in the throat, feelings of terror and then coma. Paralytic rabies causes respiratory failure.
Can it be treated?
No. Once symptomatic, rabies is always fatal.
Where is it?
Everywhere apart from Antarctica.
How is it prevented?
Vaccine. A course of three injections over 21 or 28 days prior to travel. Rabies vaccine does not fully immunise you against the disease and you must SEEK MEDICAL HELP IF BITTEN
How is the vaccine administered?
The vaccine is an injection and can be administered either intramuscularly, or intradermally (off-label). Both methods afford the same protection, for the same duration and are recognised by the World Health Organisation (https://bit.ly/35fIxtK).
It is vitally important that only specialist travel medicine clinicians, with experience in this technique, administer the vaccine in this way. The Exeter and Barnstaple Travel Clinics are able to provide this procedure.
Having a vaccine administered intradermally preserves rabies vaccine stocks as there are currently global shortages. More information about this will be provided during your appointment.
The full IM dose is available and will cost £55 per dose.