Rabies death toll mounts; Dengue cases down this year

Sarawak has recorded its fourth rabies death this year – a woman in her 30s from Sibu who was bitten by her pet dog but had not sought treatment. The state has now recorded 26 rabies cases since mid-2017. Read more

DENGUE cases for the year to date are roughly 25,000 fewer than last year, coming in at 80,000 with 133 related deaths. The trend of new infections is declining and, as with most countries in the WHO Western Pacific region (exception Singapore), this year has seen a significant reduction in the incidence of dengue fever. Read more. Meanwhile a Pacific community organisation’s (SPC) report of Oct 26 provides updates on dengue fever outbreaks in the Marshall Islands, Wallis and Futuna (both ongoing) and the Cook Islands, and the ECDC has summarised global outbreaks of both dengue fever and chikungunya in 2020.

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.