News reports from Bali of up to 12 local villagers across two western regencies (Jembrana and Tabanan) receiving post-exposure treatment after being bitten by rabid dogs - Wanagiri and Berembeng in Tabanan are now designated rabies red zones. There has been progress in the management of rabies in Bali’s dogs with widespread vaccination continuing, as evidenced by fewer rabid dogs detected: 126 rabies-infected dogs were detected in the first 5 months of 2019, falling to 54 for the same period this year. Read more. Also on rabies, in Malaysia an older man from Sibu (Sarawak) has become the state’s second rabies victim for 2020 after succumbing to the infection last week. He had been bitten by a relative’s dog in mid-May and, while he had washed the wound thoroughly and sought medical advice, he had not completed the required treatment course. There are currently 63 districts of Sarawak considered to be rabies risk zones.
Advice for travellers
Rabies is present in most countries and all travellers should be aware of the importance of avoiding contact with wild and domestic animals, including bats. If bitten or scratched, urgent post-exposure treatment is required. Vaccination is generally recommended for longer stays, especially travellers planning to live in, or travel extensively through, rural areas and also for children; however the final recommendation is itinerary-specific. Read more on rabies.
Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.