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Rabies vaccine

Rabies vaccine


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Same day appointment

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Rabies virus belongs to a family of viruses known as Rhabdoviridae. This virus attacks your central nervous system and can lead to paralysis, inflammation of the brain and coma. Once you get symptoms of rabies, it is quite fatal. Rabies virus occurs in warm- blooded mammals and is transmitted to individuals, usually by a bite from an infected animal.

Risk for travellers

The majority of deaths from rabies occur in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and follow a bite from an infected dog. These countries predominantly have large stray dog populations that pose a risk to humans if they are bitten or if they have any exposure to infected saliva. Other hosts of rabies found in these regions include bats, monkeys, mongoose and jackal.


The rabies virus is found in the saliva of an infected animal and is transmitted to humans by a bite, or when the saliva from an infected animal comes into contact with broken skin or mucous membranes for example, the eyes, nose or mouth.

Signs and symptoms

The incubation period of rabies is around 20 to 90 days. The early symptoms are often non-specific and may include a fever, headache, fatigue and muscle aches and pains. This disease then progresses to a more common furious rabies, which is characterised by laryngeal spasms (a transient and reversible spasm of the vocal cords that temporarily makes it difficult to speak or breathe), which occur in response to attempts to drink water.


All travellers who have had any possible exposure to the rabies virus, by any means, should seek medical advice without delay. Seeking medical advice/ care is also highly recommended for travellers who are visiting low risk areas for rabies as other infections may be transmitted by the bite. Medical advice should be sought without any delay even if pre-exposure vaccine was administered. This is because the disease is considered fatal once the symptoms start to manifest.


Travellers should avoid contact with wild or domestic animals and should be advised the following:

Not to approach animals

Avoid picking up an unusually tame animal or one that appears to be unwell.

Avoid attracting stray animals

Travellers receiving rabies vaccine prior to travel does not eliminate the need for post-exposure medical evaluation and additional doses of rabies vaccine.

Rabies vaccine information

Individuals who are travelling to a rabies area are considered to be at an infrequent risk, however it is recommended that you get pre-exposure rabies vaccine if you are:

At risk for more than one month

Undertaking certain activities that are considered high risk for example, cycling and running.

Unable to access the rabies vaccine or other medical care easily at your destination.

If you want more information or require the vaccine for travel purposes, please book an appointment to speak to our trained pharmacist.

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Rabies vaccine

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